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This Week in Historic Alexandria 6.30.16 | Newsletter | City of Alexandria


Star Spangled TrailThe Office of Historic Alexandria is pleased to announce that OHA Director J. Lance Mallamo has been re-appointed to a third term on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Advisory Council.  The appointment was recently announced by United States Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and is for an additional two-year term.  The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. It connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle for Baltimore, the aftermath of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem. The trail traces American and British troop movements, introduces visitors to communities affected by the war, and highlights the Chesapeake region’s distinctive landscapes and waterways.
Congress established the Star-Spangled Banner Trail in 2008. The trail is one of 19 national historic trails administered by the National Park Service and one of 30 trails in the National Trails System.  For more information on the trail, please click here.Please Note:  This is a special two-week edition of THIS WEEK, covering the period from Tuesday, June 28 through Monday, July 11.
House MaidThursday, June 30 – Film: House Maid
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 
There’s Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, and yes, Gollywood! Set in Gambia, West Africa and written by Gambian Bubacarr Jallow, this 90-minute culturally reflective, sometimes comedic film is about a wife who loses her man to their maid. Free! 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, please contact or call 703.746.4356.Sunday, July 3 – Special Civil War Tour of Apothecary
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street
The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum will offer special tours, The Apothecary and the Civil War, every Sunday at 12:30 p.m. through Labor Day weekend. This approximately 30 minute tour will feature themes similar to PBS’s Mercy Street. Topics include abolitionism in the Quaker community, prescriptions from the Civil War era, and the Leadbeater family during the war. Special archival materials will be showcased during the tour and period ingredients covered in detail. Tickets are priced at $6 per person and are limited, so advance purchase is suggested. Tickets may also be sold at the door, if available for that day’s tour. Doors open at 12:15 p.m. and will lock once the tour begins at 12:30 p.m. For more information or tickets, please call 703.746.3852.Gadsby's TavernSunday, July 3 – Special Family Tours at Gadsby’s Tavern
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Special Family Tours, led by Junior Docents grades 4-7 offered every Sunday until Labor Day Weekend from 2-5pm at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Thanks to stationed guides, families will be able to start a tour as soon as they arrive and move through the museum at their own pace, and children will be able to connect with the museum through their peer tour guides. Tour ends with activities in the ballroom that explore the science behind the historic ice well, including making (and tasting) ice cream! Family tours begin June 26 and end Labor Day weekend. $5 adults ($4 with AAA membership), $3 children ages 5 to 12, and 4 and under are free. Alexandria City Public School families and Blue Star Families are free and coupons, including the Key to the City, are accepted. 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, please email or call 703.746.4242.Sunday, July 3 – Concert: Music of Mozart, Beethoven, Scriabin and Prokofiev
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street 
Featuring Christopher Schmitt on the piano, and sponsored by the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association. Free, but donations graciously accepted. 3 to 4:30 p.m. For information, please visit or call 703.799.8229.

Civil War Kids CampSaturday July 9 –  Civil War Kids Drill Day
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
Children ages 9-12 will drill with a Civil War reenactor, learn about a soldier’s uniform and equipment, and make a canteen in a fun craft activity.  Program cost is $25 per child, and reservations are required as space is limited. 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Program will be cancelled if it rains. For more information or to make reservations, please call 703.746.4848.

Saturday July 9 –  Film: This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 
Meet iconic civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, an often-overlooked heroine of the Civil Rights Movement. Director Robin Hamilton will discuss her work to shine a light on the life of this bold, unlettered woman in this award-winning documentary film. A question and answer session with Hamilton follows the film. Tickets are priced at $5 per person.  11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, please email or call 703.746.4356.

Now on Exhibit – Julia Bloom and Susan Hostetler / The Beauty of Inflections
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street 
The summer exhibition of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association, featuring the work of Julia Bloom and Susan Hostetler. Free! Open Thursday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 703.548.0035.

Medical Care for SoldiersNow 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

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 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

Lee's of AlexandriaNow 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 or call 703.548.1789.

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