Old Town Alexandria Walking Tour
Take an Old Town Alexandria Walking Tour and discover its extraordinary history with a resident historian and owner of DC Military Tours, Tom Schultz. I am a twenty-year resident of Old Town and I enjoy showing off my neighborhood.
Stroll around Old Town Alexandria, a colonial city rich in architecture. We may run into shopkeepers and neighbors whom I know personally. Receive inside knowledge on the local habits and the best tastes and bargains in Old Town. Start your private walking tour at the garden of the Alexandria Visitor’s Center at 221 King Street. This is a dog friendly tour, rated “five bones” 🦴🦴🦴🦴🦴 by Bring Fido so bring the pooch!
Alexandria was the longest Union occupied town during the Civil War and is full of mystery and intrigue from this period. Explore medical care in the 19th century with a stop at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary. Experience tavern life for residents and garrisoned Soldiers at Gadsby’s Tavern and see the largest known surviving 18th-century ice well, the refrigerator of its day.
Navigate the colonial streets of Old Town with stops at the Athenaeum and Captain’s Row, the most picturesque street in the city. Discover one of the nation’s founding fathers John Carlyle at his opulent Georgian Stone mansion. Learn the mystery of what happened to the $200,000 John Augustine Washington placed on deposit from the sale of Mount Vernon in 1859. Visit an actual Torpedo Factory and learn about the contributions of “Rosie the Riveter” and World War II women as they created new cultural norms in which they could thrive.
During the Civil War, Alexandria, a majority Confederate city, was occupied by the Union Army. Alexandria was the longest occupied city during the Civil War (its occupation lasted from May 24th, 1861 until summer 1865). The city was transformed into an Union Army logistics center during the war, filled with hospitals and transportation facilities. Many of the city’s men fled the city at the beginning of the occupation to join the Confederate Army.
The Stabler and Leadbeater Apothecary, a stop along this tour, was founded in 1792. When it closed due to the Great Depression in the 1933, the apothecary intended to auction off its historical items. The majority of the contents and archives were purchased by L. Manuel Hendler, a Baltimore ice cream merchant with an affinity for the history of pharmacy. The following year, the newly formed Landmarks Society of Alexandria purchased the buildings at auction. Hendler then donated the contents and archives to the Landmarks Society. Because of this, the building and its contents are nearly entirely original.