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This Week in Historic Alexandria 4.19.16 | Newsletter | City of Alexandria

This Week in Historic Alexandria

City Museums and
Historic Sites
Other Historic Sites and Resources
This Week in Historic Alexandria
Alexandria Brick Company

On April 22, 1890, the Alexandria Brick Company opened a new kiln along Great Hunting Creek, at the southern end of South Washington Street, just across from St. Mary’s Cemetery and in the area where the Freedmen’s Cemetery had been hastily prepared during the Civil War.  It was a newspaper article written several years later, when coffins began to emerge from the clay hillside being excavated by the brick company, that led Alexandria Historian T. Michael Miller to discover the existence of the long-forgotten burial place for African American Contrabands and Freedmen, and the subsequent memorial that opened on the site in 2015.
On Sale Now
Carlyle Tea

On Sunday, May 8, treat that special woman in your life to an elegant tea and tour of Carlyle House, the most historic house in Old Town Alexandria and the site of Mercy Street’s Mansion House Hospital. Relax in the beautiful garden setting of the Magnolia Terrace while enjoying the fun and educational program “First Lady Firsts.” Experience personalized tableside service and scrumptious food catered by Calling Card Events for an unforgettable day. Reservations and advance payment are required and can be made online. You may register for the noon seatinghere: And the 2:30 seatinghere:  The event costs $40 for adults; $20 for children ages 5-17; free for children 4 and younger. For further information please visitwww.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.

 

WHAT’S NEW IN HISTORIC ALEXANDRIA
This week marks two great annual traditions in Alexandria, Spring2ACTion and Virginia Garden Week!

Spring2ActionSpring2ACTion is a 24-hour online event that encourages everyone to contribute to Alexandria’s nonprofit organizations through Spring2ACTion.org, a single online giving platform. In 2015, Spring2ACTion raised $1,276,909 in one day, benefitting 129 local nonprofit organizations. The money raised benefited a wide range of services in Alexandria, including after school programs, food and shelter, senior care, environmental conservation and arts programming. This year, ACT for Alexandria’s goal is to raise $1.5 million from 10,000 donors for the 140+ participating nonprofits! To meet this goal, ACT needs your help! Be a hero for your favorite causes, and give on Wednesday, April 20!  For more information on this event, click here.

Virginia Gardern WeekThe two major 2016 fund-raising initiatives for the Office of Historic Alexandria will be part of the action in Spring2ACTion!  Please click here to donate to the restoration of deteriorating early fire-fighting vehicles at the Friendship Firehouse Museum, and/or click here to donate to the badly needed conservation of the recently discovered 18th century ship found buried along the Alexandria waterfront.

Each Spring visitors are welcomed at over 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks, during “America’s Largest Open House,” Virginia Garden Week!  This 8-day, state-wide event, held this year from April 23 to April 30, occurs at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, and includes beautiful flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. Tour proceeds help to fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic gardens, and provide graduate level research fellowships for building comprehensive and ongoing records of historic gardens and landscapes in the Commonwealth.  For more information on Virginia Garden Week, including tours of homes and gardens in Alexandria, click here.

EVENTS
Monday, April 18 – Alexandria Sister Cities Committee
Alexandria City Hall, Sister Cities Conference Room 1101, 301 King Street
Regular monthly meeting.  Free! 7:00 p.m.For more information, please call 703.746.4554.Monday, April 18 – Public Records Advisory Commission
Alexandria City Hall, Sister Cities Conference Room 1102, 301 King Street
Regular monthly meeting.  Free! 7:30 p.m.For more information, please call 703.746.4753.Alexandria AssemblyTuesday, April 19 – Alexandria Assembly Dance Rehearsal
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street 
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum’s performance dance group, the Alexandria Assembly, meets most Tuesday nights for practice and instruction. Monthly donations accepted. Prerequisite: dancers must have participated in one of the Museum’s Thursday night dance class series. Free! 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4242.

Tuesday, April 19 – Historic Alexandria Resources Commission
Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street
Regular monthly meeting.  Free! 7:30 p.m.For more information, please call 703.746.4554.

Wednesday, April 20 – Alexandria-Caen Sister Cities Spring Soirée
La Bergerie Restaurant, 218 North Lee Street
The Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee invites you to our annual Spring Fundraiser with special guest, Catherine Pradal-Chazarenc, Deputy Mayor of Caen. Enjoy a delightful reception in one of Alexandria’s finest restaurants in the company of fellow French enthusiasts and Sister City supporters. Meet the French community in Alexandria! Laurent Janowsky, owner of the renowned La Bergerie restaurant and wine distributer Olivier Lotterie, formerly of Caen, will team up to pair tasty dishes with exquisite French wines. Tickets are priced at $50 per person and are available online (with an additional processing fee via Eventbrite at or at the door. All proceeds will benefit the ACSCC’s events, including educational lectures, an annual D-Day Commemoration, and our student and intern exchange programs.  5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4554.

Save Our Ship!Wednesday, April 20 – Save Our Ship! Happy Hour
Aboard the Miss Christin, docked behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street
It’s Down the Hatch to Save Our Ship! Spend a delightful evening on the historic waterfront during Alexandria’s Spring2Action Giving Day aboard the Potomac Riverboat Company’s Miss Christin. Enjoy appetizers from King Street Blues, a cash bar, and join our “A” fleet as we launch our Donation Power Hour from 7 to 8 p.m. to raise funds to save our recently discovered 18th century ship! For more information about the ship’s excavation, stabilization, and media coverage, click here.  To make a financial donation to preserve this amazing archaeological discovery, please click here. Suggested donation, minimum $10. 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4399. Sponsored by Friends of Alexandria Archaeology FOAA.info

Wednesday, April 20 – Alexandria Archaeological Commission 
Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, Suite 327
Regular monthly meeting.  Free! 7:45 p.m.For more information, please call 703.746.4399.

Thursday, April 21 – Civil War Ball Dance Classes
In preparation for the Civil War Ball on April 30th, learn the waltz, polka, Virginia Reel and more from an expert dance master.  Tickets are available at $12 per person, per class, or $30 per person for the series of three sessions. Reservations are recommended. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4242.

US Air Force BandThursday, April 21 – USAF Band Spring Chamber Series at the Lyceum 
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street
Tuba and Euphonium concert featuring members of the ceremonial Brass. Free and open to the public, no reserved seats, first-come, first seated. 7:30 – 9:00 pm. For more information, please visit http://www.usafband.af.mil/.

Saturday, April 23 – Friends of Carlyle House Annual Herb and Craft Sale
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street
Come celebrate spring with the Friends of Carlyle House’s Annual Garden Day Herb & Craft Sale from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. Tour Carlyle House, the actual site of the Mansion House Hospital featured in the PBS drama Mercy Street.  Free! 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For further information please visit www.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.

Saturday, April 23 – Archaeology Lab Orientation
Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, Suite 327
Required for all new lab volunteers. Free, but reservations are required. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Eleanor Breen at 703.746.4399 orEleanor.Breen@alexandriava.gov.

Saturday, April 23 – Civil War Surgeon and Field Hospital Program
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
Learn about Civil War medical care and practices in a living history program presented by historian and interpreter Von Barron. Mr. Barron will portray a U.S. Army surgeon in a field hospital setting that features a variety of medical tools and equipment of the period. Also meet African-American nurse Susie King Taylor, portrayed by Heather Butts, author of African American Medicine in Washington, D.C.: Healing the Capital during the Civil War Era. Free admission. Program is weather dependent, rain date is April 30. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4848 or visit www.fortward.org.

Sunday, April 24 – Georgia Nassikas / Artist Talk
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Join us for a Gallery Talk by Georgia Nassikas where she will discuss how she creates art including raising bees and using their hives for the wax in her encaustic work. Free! 3 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Medical CareNow on Exhibit – Medical Care for the Civil War Soldier  
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
See “What’s New” segment above. Free! Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.   For more information, please call 703.746.4848 or visit www.fortward.org.

Now on Exhibit – Hotel vs. Hospital
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street 
Learn the story of the fine hotel industry in Alexandria and how it quickly changed after the Civil War began. The City Hotel (today part of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum at 134 North Royal Street) was the only major hotel in Alexandria to remain open during the entirety of the war.  The two other fine hotels in town, Mansion House (transformed into a massive Civil War hospital) and Marshall House (site of the first Northern and Southern deaths due to violence in the Civil War), had closed. Guests will discover how tavern keeper Samuel Heflebower was able to remain in business as he catered to the new customers arriving in Alexandria.
For more information, please call 703.746.4242.

Now on Exhibit – Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street
Come see the site that inspired Mercy Street, the new PBS’ series inspired by real events that took place at Carlyle House. The six-episode program revolves around the doctors, nurses, and patients of Mansion House Hospital, a former luxury hotel owned by James Green, a prominent Alexandria businessman who resided in Carlyle House.
James Green purchased Carlyle House and the adjacent Bank of Alexandria in 1848. While living in Carlyle House with his family, he converted the Bank Building into the successful Mansion House Hotel. The hotel thrived, and Green expanded it in the 1850s. In November of 1861, the Union Army took over both the hotel and the mansion, turning the hotel into a hospital and the house into doctor and officer housing. The new exhibit recreates the days of Union occupation and tells the true stories of those who lived and worked here during the war. This is where Mercy Street really happened.  Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. –to 4 p.m. For further information please visit www.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.

The LyceumNow on Exhibit – The Lyceum:  175 Years of Local History
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street
This new exhibition highlights the history of The Lyceum, as well as its role today as a place for exploring Alexandria’s past.  On view in the museum’s Coldsmith Gallery, the historical objects and images featured represent The Lyceum, the community at work, and commemorations and celebrations.  Throughout the exhibition, visitors are invited to “be the curator” and think about why the various artifacts are in museum’s collection, and about how these tangible representatives of the past help tell the story of Alexandria’s history.

Museum visitors can also explore artifacts relating to commemorating or celebrating something important in someone’s life, or that serve as a memento representing an organization, business, or event.  For example, five World War II service medals from a local soldier are on view, as well as a china pitcher promoting William Henry Harrison’s campaign for the presidency, and a colorful hand-worked quilt commemorating the Bicentennial of the American Revolution in 1976.  The Lyceum:  175 Years of Local History includes a variety of items providing a glimpse into different types of work in Alexandria since the community was founded in the 18th century.  Objects range from circa 1796 wares marked by Alexandria silversmith Adam Lynn, a circa 1880 dresser manufactured by James F. Muir and Brothers, to a collage of original photographs – circa 1970 — documenting the Alexandria, Barcroft & Washington Rapid Transit Company.

Open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.   For more information call 703.746.4994, or see www.alexandriahistory.org.

Now on Exhibit – Oils and Encaustics
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Featuring the work of Georgia Nassikas.Free! Open Thursday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Lee-Fendall HouseNow on Exhibit – Journey to Be Free: Alexandria Freedmen’s Cemetery 
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 
A new exhibit tracing the 150-year history of the long-forgotten Freedmen’s Cemetery, its rediscovery and how the new Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial was created at the site.  Free, but donations are appreciated. Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday: Closed.  For more information, please call 703.746.4356.

Now on Exhibit – Their Fates Intertwined: The Lees of Alexandria in the War of 1812 
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street 
A new exhibit on the experiences of the Lee family in Alexandria during the War of 1812 examines the contributions of Alexandria’s citizens during the conflict that led to the writing of our national anthem through the lives of this iconic Virginia family. For more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

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