Monday, July 30, 2012

Old Town

Another place we visited was the boyhood home of Robert E. Lee. It is on Oronoco Street in Old Town Alexandria, Va. When our son was about three I was able to take a tour of it but now it is privately owned. I told our son since we were so close we had to "see if the snowballs were in bloom." When Robert E. Lee left Appamattox he stopped by here to see if the hydrangias were blooming. The quote above is on a historical marker in front of the home. If you look at the center back of the photo you can see them. I don't know what the white spot is in the picture. It can't be the sun. It was an over cast day.

Old Town Alexandria is a great place to walk around. The river is there as well as lots of old homes. Just looking at all the different door knockers is fun. They even still have a couple of cobble stone streets.

I wanted to show our son some busy bodies. I had read about them many years ago in Southern Living magazine. Don't ask where they are at the visitor's center. They don't know. I asked them years ago where to find them and they didn't know what they were. I asked again on this trip because I couldn't remember which houses had them and they still didn't know. When I found some I wrote down the addresses and went back and told them so they could see. I would have thought they would know about something that is unusual in their area. Here is a picture. Several houses have them. They were used to see who was at the door and also who was walking up and down the street. They are mounted outside the second story windows.

Another unusual thing to see in Old Town is an alley house. This home was literally built in an alley! It is only seven feet wide.

Here is a view from across the street.

Here is an odd looking home. It is called a flounder house. I read, years ago, that it is an oddity to the area. This one has an addition on the side. Isn't it strange looking. I saw several buildings in this shape. Maybe space was at a premium in the 1700's?

There is a nice old tavern in Old Town called Gadsby's Tavern. My husband and I ate there years ago. It has been in business since 1770!

There is a large building down by the river called The Torpedo Factory. It is filled with fine arts and studios of the artisians. On the top floor was an archiology exhibit. They had several broken plates on a table and visitors could try their hand at putting them back together. My son and I gave it a try. He went for the largest plate.

I went for something smaller. His plate looked old while mine was a plate by Johnson's Brothers that still can be purchased today.

There was a skeleton there. The diplay implied that it was old and was found with other artifacts in a dig. They wanted everyone to guess what it was. I kept thinking it looked like a medium sized dog but the display made me think it was something prehistoric. The woman there came over to see what we would guess. I said it looks like a dog but that I must be wrong. I wasn't! It was old but not prehistoric. I didn't think to take a picture of it.

Old Town is nice because you can park your car and walk. There is so much see. Restaurants, shops and lots of history. You can even go to Christ's Church where George Washington attended!



  1. Linda, I want to go there and live in the alley house. What a fun trip you have had. Loved the pictures

  2. Another fun history adventure. I hope that you enjoyed it and had fun.