An Historical Town!
Alexandria offeres a view of the past in it's rustic "Old Town" area.
Cobbled streets, old brick buildings and landmarks of great historical interest can be revisited, bringing back an image which reminds us of the Revolution and the reason for creating this Nation. Driving through historic Old Town Alexandria where George Washington trained his troops in front ot Gadsby's Tavern, and seeing the places where many decisions were made to effect the early days of the United States of America.
It is an awesome experience!
American BBQ A Historical Social Event
Socializing is a popular way to relax, getting to know people, and to conduct business.
One of the most relaxing ways of socializing is to have a BBQ in the backyard and share a few bottles of wine or beer!
From the earliest days of our history, sharing a meal, cooked and served outdoors, with family and neighbors, has been a common way of socializing. Today it is still our way.
Music in the streets
I think this is pretty cool when wonderful individuals are willing to share their gift of music. This gentleman was performing just down from the restaurant. He played beautifully! Be sure to say thank you with some small gift;-)
They have many cultural events, so checkout the website for more information or just take a walk in the evening and hear them play downtown or by the marina.
George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a Mason's lodge and memorial for President George Washington, a mason, and former president of the local lodge. The nine story tower is designed after the ancient lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt, and the exterior was built from 1922 to 1932. Work on the interior was not completed until 1970, and the monument and plaques on the front lawn were just completed in 1999. The building's replica lodge room contains Washington's masonic artifacts such as his apron and the silver trowel he used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol Building. The top floor has an observation deck offering views in all four cardinal directions.
During our visit, we were between tours of the tower, so we stuck to the ground floor and the basement. The ground floor is dominated by a huge hall with a tall bronze statue of Washington flanked by great white columns in front of murals and stained-glass windows. To the left of this atrium is a small room with artifacts and photos of previous Mason commanders, then a modern-day meeting room. Downstairs you will find a central hall with small paintings of some of the great Masonic lodges of America, and there is also a small museum and gallery for the Shriners.
The monument stands on a tall knob called Shuter's Hill, that overlooks downtown Alexandria. In 1781 this was the site of John Mill's plantation house, which burned to the ground in 1842. In the 1850s a large brick house was built on the site, and this was incorporated into the Civil War-era Fort Ellsworth. The brick mansion was destroyed by fire in 1905. It is said that Thomas Jefferson once proposed this hill as the ideal site for the nation's capitol, prior to work starting across the river in Washington.
The monument is open to the public from 9am to 4pm daily with guided tours daily at 10am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3 pm.
The monument has three plaques that read:
"Let prejudices and local interests yield to reason. Let us look at our national character and to things beyond the present period. — George Washington"
"This classic sculpture commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. The bronze bas-relief is a gift from Eastman Kodak Company, and was first commissioned as part of America's Bicentennial observance. It is the work of Isabel Giampietro Knoll. Dedication August 1982."
"This monument erected with the support from Grand Lodge of Ohio; Scottish Rite, Hartford, CT.; Corinthian-Philo Lodge No. 368, Philadelphia, PA.; Scottish Rite, Bridgeport, CT.; Demolay Foundation of New Jersey, Inc.; Mt. Lebanon Lodge, Boston, MA.; Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction; Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction; Scottish Rite, Southern New Jersey; Holland Lodge Foundation, Inc. N.Y.; to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial."
Alexandria Heritage Trail
The Alexandria Heritage Trail is a 23 mile jogging and biking path that runs throughout the city. Its route follows the rec trail along the Potomac River, but also forms an inland loop around the West End, Del Rey, and other neighborhoods. I have only visited a few sites such as the Hooff's Run Railroad Bridge (built in 1856), the West End, and the old Tannery. On the north end of town, the Tide Lock of the Old Alexandria Canal is preserved as part of the trail.
Another spot near the canal locks is a former neighborhood called "Cross Canal," that was once a post Civil War African American community. The sign says this are was very rural and the houses all had gardens and farm animals.
There is not much information about the Heritage Trail available on the internet, but I will post more as I explore the trail!