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This Week in Historic Alexandria 9.12.16 | Newsletter | City of Alexandria

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EVENTS
Monday, September 12 – Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee 
Alexandria City Hall, Sister Cities Conference Room 1101, 301 King Street
Regular monthly meeting.Free. 7 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4554.Ballroom DanceMonday, September 12 – Gary Stephans’ Art of Ballroom Dance
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street 
Fun classes to learn to dance or improve your dancing skills: fox trot, waltz, tango, swing, salsa, merengue, rumba, cha-cha, and samba. All level of dancers are welcome, with or without a partner. Discover little techniques that most people never learn about and become a relaxed and proficient social dancer in these small, personalized dance lessons! Class fee is $15 per session, Basic or Advanced Techniques, attend both sessions for best results. To register for either or both sessions, clickhere. Basic Techniques class is 7 to 7:45 p.m.  Advanced Techniques is 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. Free practice session from 8:30 to 9 p.m. To register, click here. For more information, please visit garystephans@me.com or call 703.505.5998.

Wednesday, September 14 – Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission 
Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street
Regular monthly meeting.Free. 8 a.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4554.

Scottish Heritage WeekendSaturday, September 17 – Scottish Heritage Weekend: Outlander Style!
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street
Visitors are invited to tour this beautiful 18th century house museum, dating back to the days of John Carlyle (and Jamie and Claire in Outlander) and attend an afternoon filled with Scottish culture. Events will include 3 Scottish and Celtic storytelling performances, an appearance by the Granfling School of Highland Dance, a concert by the Devil’s Tailors, and a bagpiper! Tickets for this afternoon of programming are $7/adult and $3/child (ages 5-12). Tours of the museum will be free and will include references to Outlander, the popular book series and television show. Tickets are priced at $7/adult and $3/child (ages 5-12). 12 to 4 p.m. For further information please visit www.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.
Schedule of programming:

  • 12pm: Storyteller #1
  • 12:45pm: Devil’s Tailors concert
  • 2pm: Storyteller #2
  • 2:45pm: Granfling School of Highland Dance
  • 3:30pm: Storyteller #3

12 to 4 p.m. For further information please visit www.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.

Firefighter's MemorialSaturday, September 17 – The Firefighter’s Memorial at Ivy Hill Cemetery
Ivy Hill Cemetery, 2823 King Street
As the Firefighter’s Memorial reaches its 160th year, Friendship Firehouse Museum and Ivy Hill Cemetery staff will discuss how and why Ivy Hill Cemetery was chosen for the obelisk honoring seven fallen firemen, and how the tradition of honoring fallen firefighters has grown at this enduring memorial. Best for ages 10 and up. Free! 1 to 2 p.m. Best for ages 10 and up. For more information, please call, 703.746.4994 weekdays; 703.746.3891 weekends.

Sunday, September 18 – Scottish Heritage Weekend: Outlander Style Tea!
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street
The weekend of Scottish and pop culture fun will continue on Sunday, with an Outlander themed tea! Do you love the books and/or the television show? Then come join us for tea and a special fashion show on the Magnolia Terrace! Members of the Appin Regiment, an 18th century Scottish Living History group, will model the fashions from the time period when Jamie, Claire AND John Carlyle lived! One lucky person will win a special gift basket donated by The Scottish Gourmet and raffled off during the tea! Tickets are priced at $45 per person for the tea and fashion show, and advance reservations are required. 2:30 p.m. If this event sells out and the wait list is long enough, then a seating may be added at 12 p.m. For further information please visitwww.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.

Monday, September 19 – Alexandria Sister Cities Committee 
Alexandria City Hall, Sister Cities Conference Room 1101, 301 King Street
Regular monthly meeting.Free. 7:30 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4554.

Monday, September 19 – Public Records Advisory Commission
Alexandria City Hall, Sister Cities Conference Room 1102A, 301 King Street
Regular monthly meeting.Free. 7:30 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4753.

Now on Exhibit, Last Week! – Kit-Keung Kan 
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street 
Kit-Keung Kan is a physicist who interprets traditional Chinese landscape paintings with his passion for the art form as well as his experience in scientific study and research such as relational concepts and objective abstraction. Free! Open Thursday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 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 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.

Freedmen CemeteryNow 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.

City Museums and
Historic Sites
Other Historic Sites and Resources
This Week in Historic Alexandria
On September 17, 1889, electric light service was turned on in Alexandria for the first time. Cheers could be heard at dusk throughout the city’s neighborhoods when the switch was flipped, turning on the first streetlights installed at strategic intersections.
On Sale Now

Firefighting History

On Saturday, September 24, at 1 p.m., mark Fire Prevention Week and explore Alexandria’s firefighting history on the“Blazing a Trail: Alexandria’s Firefighting History” tour. Participants learn about volunteer firefighting in early Alexandria, three devastating fires, and the five volunteer fire companies. The tour begins at the historic Friendship Firehouse, goes east on Prince Street, and returns to Friendship via King Street. Best for ages 10 and up. For more information, please call, 703.746.4994 weekdays; 703.746.3891 weekends.
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