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.

The Costumes of PBS' Mercy Street, on display at The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum February 17 through September 1, 2017

New “The Costumes of PBS’ Mercy Street” Exhibition at The Lyceum Announced

The Costumes of PBS’ Mercy Street is on view February 17 through September 1, 2017

As season two of PBS’ Mercy Street nears its finale on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. ET, the Office of Historic Alexandria and Visit Alexandria are pleased to announce a new exhibition, The Costumes of PBS’ Mercy Street, on display at The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum February 17 through September 1, 2017. Fans of the show are invited to view four original costumes worn in seasons one and two by Josh Radnor (Dr. Jedediah Foster), AnnaSophia Robb (Alice Green), Hannah James (Emma Green), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Mary Phinney) created by costume designer Amy Andrews Harrell. Also on display are sketches of the costumes, series images of the actors in the costumes, and historical artifacts such as furniture from the Green furniture factory and medical supplies from the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.

“We are very excited to display four costumes from PBS’ Mercy Street, two from season one and two from season two, at The Lyceum,” said Gretchen Bulova, deputy director for the Office of Historic Alexandria. “This is the only exhibition of the show’s costumes outside of the filming location in Petersburg, Virginia. In addition to this exhibition, the museums in Historic Alexandria are offering special programs and unique experiences based on the themes of Mercy Street that dive deeper into Alexandria’s Civil War history.”

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Lee-Fendall House

Lee-Fendall House as Civil War Hospital

Did you know that Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria, Virginia was known as Grovesnor Branch Hospital, one of 28 Union Army hospitals in Alexandria, Virginia during the Civil War?

Lee-Fendall House is offering a special tour of the museum and grounds highlighting the Lee-Fendall House’s role as a hospital during the Civil War. Highlights include themes addressed in the PBS series “Mercy Street,” including nursing, soldiers, civilians, medical practices, and free people of color. . Tickets are $8.00 in advance through the museum’s Online Store, or $10.00 the day of the program. Tour space is limited, so the purchase of tickets in advance is highly recommended. The tour lasts approximately 1.5 – 2 hours.   (more…)

Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria Virginia

Special Training offered Saturday, November 7

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is seeking individuals 14 and older who enjoy meeting and talking with people of all ages, love American history, and want to learn more and share this knowledge with others.  The training process is simple and made even easier through a three-hour class on Saturday, November 7 from 9:00 AM – 12 Noon that will fulfill half of the training requirements.  Final requirements can be completed on a flexible schedule by applicants.

To apply to become a docent, complete an application online through this link or email Michele.longo@alexandriava.gov.  The training will be hosted at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, located at 134 N. Royal Street in Alexandria.  Those who cannot attend the November 7 training are still encouraged to apply as alternate arrangements can be made.  Volunteer docents are needed both weekend and weekday shifts and are asked to give a minimum of 4 hours per month (one tour shift).  Other opportunities, such as leading school tours, weekend special programs, and costumed tours are also available to those who complete the initial training.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Gadsby’s Tavern was the center of social and political life in Alexandria and the new Federal City of Washington.  The tavern served as the premier gathering place for residents – including George Washington – and visitors to eat, drink, learn, and influence history.  Today, the Museum offers public tours of the buildings year-round and hosts a variety of events that bring the past to life.

For more information, please visit this link or call 703.746.4242.

(Flickr Pool photo via Larry, on Flickr)

St. Elmo's Coffee Shop, Del Ray, Alexandria, USA

Saturday, September 26, 2015

To see more events in Alexandria, Virginia, click this link. To get your event added to our calendar, click this link (COST: $10).

REMINDER: Your guide to getting around during Pope Francis’ three-day visit to Washington, D.C. is at this link.

Your plans for today (September 26, 2015) in Alexandria, Virginia include these events:

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