Friendship Firehouse Museum in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Free Tours of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and Other Historic Alexandria Museums

On Monday, February 20, the nation’s largest George Washington Birthday parade marches a one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. With nearly 3,500 participants, this community parade honors one of the Alexandria’s favorite sons. The Parade’s Grand Marshal will be Retired Police Chief Earl Cook, and the special guest is Olympic silver medal winner boxer Shakur Stevenson. For information about participating units, parking, maps, route and status, visit this link or call 703.829.6640.

The same day, several Historic Alexandria sites will celebrate by hosting special open houses with free admission. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street, and the Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 South Alfred Street, will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors may tour these historic sites at no charge on this day.

How did George Washington celebrate his birthday in the ballroom of Gadsby’s Tavern? What was considered luxurious for overnight accommodations in the 18th century? Visitors to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum will find out at the very place George Washington dined and danced.

Visitors to the Apothecary, which opened in 1796, will see its unique collection of herbs and botanicals, while discovering the important role the Apothecary played in early Alexandria. Among the featured display items will be a note from Martha Washington.

At the Friendship Firehouse, first built in 1855 and remodeled in 1871, see hand-drawn fire engines, leather water buckets, axes, sections of early rubber hose and other historic firefighting equipment. The Friendship Fire Company, established in 1774, was Alexandria’s first volunteer fire company and dates to Washington’s time.

 At The Lyceum, visitors can view the new exhibition “Alexandria’s Nurses and Hospitals During the Civil War.” Visitors can also see the recently opened exhibit “The Lyceum: 175 Years of Local History” and the permanent exhibit “Building a Community: Alexandria Past to Present.”

For more information about these events, visit this link.

Delbert McClinton & Amy Black at The Birchmere in Alexandria, virginia

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old town night pics-001.jpg

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria Virginia
Via OHAGadsby’s Tavern Museum, located at 134 N. Royal Street in Alexandria, Virginia, has now reopened for tours after being closed for almost 5 months.

This past winter, multiple frozen pipes burst causing damage throughout the museum complex. Major issues have been addressed including drying the buildings, repairing the sprinkler system, and re-plastering. The final step of repainting will be completed this fall when humidity conditions are more consistent, but this summer will be a great opportunity to witness a “work in progress” restoration and to the learn about the complex disaster recovery steps taken by historic site museums.

Hours of the Museum are Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday and Monday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Guided tours start at a quarter after the hour and a quarter before the hour and last approximately 30 minutes. The last tour each day begins at 4:45 PM.

(Flickr Pool photo by Larry, on Flickr)

Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria Virginia
The newest publication in the Arcadia, Images of America Series features the 20th Century history of historic Gadsby’s Tavern (Gadsby’s Tavern (Images of America)). Written by Gretchen Bulova, Gadsby’s Tavern’s museum director since 1996, this book uses photographs from the collections of the museum, Alexandria Library Special Collections Branch, and private individuals to unfold the story of Alexandria’s community spirit that preserved the famous Gadsby’s Tavern for generations to come.

Ms. Bulova will be signing her book at the Alexandria Visitor Center, located at 221 King Street in Old Town Alexandria this Saturday, May 23rd from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Copies are $21.99 each and also available at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, The Lyceum, and the new Historic Alexandria Museum Store at the Old Town Hilton.

(Red Brick Town Flickr Pool photo by Larry, on Flickr)

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