The Wandering Rebel

Alexandria Wanderings

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George Washington Masonic Memorial

As you approach the original area of Alexandria, which the locals call "Old Town", the George Washington Masonic Memorial becomes more and more impressive. Just as the Capitol and the Washington Monument dominate the skyline of Washington so does the Masonic Memorial dominate Alexandria's. The building was built on Shooters Hill, the site of an early plantation and, during the Civil War, the site of the Union encampment. The last picture, on the top row, shows the building from just off the end of King Street. 5, 6, and 7 were taken at the same time, July 8, 2008. Picture 8, showing how the Memorial stands out, was taken from the Old Post Office Tower in Washington. Click here to go to the George Washington Masonic Memorial website.

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The Torpedo Factory Art Center

Micah 4:3 "They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks." The United States Navy began construction on the torpedo factory on November 12, 1918. When it became fully functional, it was responsible for the manufacture and maintenance of torpedoes. After the first 5 years it became a munitions storage area. With the beginning of World War II, the factory was again opened round the clock. After the end of the war, production slowed until the factory was closed in 1956. It then became a storage area for the government. The Smithsonian stored art objects and other valuables, Congress stored documents, and the military stored German war films and records in sealed vaults here. In 1969, the City of Alexandria bought the complex, and in 1974 work began to convert it to an art center. Pictured here, in picture 4, is the area where my father worked. picture 5 is of a logbook on display with my father's handwriting on the 1st two entries. Picture 6 shows many of the things machinist were allowed to make with scrap on their free time. (I have one of the ashtrays and a torpedo watch fob my father made) Picture 2 is one of the test torpedoes. The last pictures were taken July 8, 2008 on a cruise down the Potomac. Click here to go to the Torpedo Factory Art Center

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Jones Point Lighthouse

Jones Point Lighthouse is one of a few remaining river lighthouses in the United States. I spent the 1st ten years of my life in Alexandria and many times went to the park shown in the 3rd picture on the bottom row, but we never noticed the lighthouse. The last picture is from the trees at the river's edge, just to the left of the sign.

The Jones Point Lighthouse was 1st lit on May 3, 1856 by George L. Deeton, the keeper. Then, as now, the lighthouse was a wooden clapboard house-shaped building with a cedar roof. On the tract of land for the lighthouse sits one of the original boundary stones for the original District of Columbia which was installed by George Washington. The marker can still be seen and is in the seawall just south of the lighthouse, while a marker marking the boundary between Maryland and Virginia can be seen just to the north of the lighthouse. The light from Jones Point could be seen up to nine miles away. Click here to go to the Lighthouse Friends, Jones Point site.

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Christ Church

1. About midway between the Torpedo Factory and the George Washington Masonic Memorial and a block north is Christ Church. 2. Across the street to the West is this marker for a sugar mill, it would have been owned by Wilmer McLean (See Manassas and Appomattox). 3.. At the entrance is this plaque honoring the honorary pall-bearers for George Washington, whose funeral was held at the Church. 4. On the front wall of the Sanctuary,  is this marker honoring George Washington, who was a member here, and 5. is a signature plaque marking his pew. 6. Also, on the front wall is this marker honoring another member of Christ Church, Robert E. Lee and 7. is the signature plaque marking his pew. 8. This is a view from the back, the markers for Washington and Lee are just out of view on either side. 9. Outside is the Burying Yard, 10. This is a sample of the type of marker used in colonial times. Click here to go to the Christ Church website.


The Confederate Statue

This Confederate soldier stands unarmed, looking South in the middle of a busy intersection. He is placed here at the point where the men of Alexandria gathered  for prayer and left to join the Confederate Forces on May 24, 1861. In picture 1 you see beyond him the Federal Court and the First Baptist Church (now the Downtown Baptist Church), both were here at the time. (At the bottom of this page you will find two more pictures of the Downtown Baptist Church) The Soldier is facing South towards the battlefields where his comrades fell during the War. On the base of the statue is inscribed the names of the men of Alexandria who fell in service for the Confederacy. The statue, titled "Appomattox", by M. Casper Buberl, was erected in 1889 by the Robert E. Lee Camp, United Confederate Veterans.


Gadsby's Tavern and Other Landmarks

George Washington ate here. This was one of his favorite places to eat. The tavern is owned and maintained by the city of Alexandria and serves Colonial period food.

Below 1 The marker for the Stabler-Leadbeater Pharmacy which operated on this site for 141 years, starting in 1792. On file here are some of Washington's prescriptions. 2 shows the front of the building. 3 shows the entrance to the Carlyle House. 4 and 5 are of the Downtown Baptist Church, 5 showing the no parking sign.

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Mount Vernon

Arlington House