Old Town

Old Town

Oscar Time - Our town, being an antique itself, supports two major antiques shows each year. One is in the fall and is sponsored by the Historic Alexandria Foundation. The other joins us each early spring and is led by the redoubtable Oscar Ryder and his wonderful crew of worker-bees. The spring show, set for March 10-13 at the Episcopal High School Field House, is the 9th annual in Oscar's productions. Come join in the fun.

The two shows don't really compete. Long-long-time Old Towner Oscar Ryder is on a first-name basis with practically everybody involved in HAF's fall offering (which set fund-raising records for historic preservation projects last November). And the folks who will turn out for "Antiques in Alexandria" next month won't be strangers to Oscar's crew. Wasn't so a few years ago, but times -- like Old Town -- change. For the better!

Anyhow, Oscar's "Antiques in Alexandria" show should be a real wing-ding. Fun starts Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m. with a $125-per-head Preview Party -- featuring live music, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a fresh seafood bar, and an elegant buffet. Honorary co-chairs are Mrs. George Allen and Mrs. John Warner, spouses, respectively, of our governor and U.S. senator (as if you didn't know).

The show will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Antiques in Alexandria benefits the Alexandria Association, the Athenaeum, the Lyceum Company and the TWIG. Additional information is available at 703-548-SHOW. Go for it, Oscar!

Inaugural Redux - Unable to make it to the inauguration festivities of 2005? Then step back 200 years to 1805 and celebrate with President Thomas Jefferson. Gadsby's Tavern Museum is pleased to invite you to join the President, Vice President George Clinton, Secretary of State James Madison,

and other notable figures from the Jefferson administration, and your host, John Gadsby, on March 12 at Gadsby's City Hotel for Jefferson's Inaugural Banquet. The banquet will begin at 7 p.m. and will include period music and a full four-course dinner with wines paired to complement early 19th

century food, including some of Jefferson's favorites. Attendees will be able to share in the atmosphere of the 1805 inaugural banquet as re-enactors give toasts and speeches, allowing guests to be active participants in history.

Tickets are $70 per person and additional sponsorship levels are available at $100 and $150 per person - which will include a special VIP cocktail reception with President Jefferson himself. Advance reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, please call 703-838-4242 or visit www.gadsbystavern.org. Formal attire or 1805 period dress is encouraged. Proceeds from the event benefit the Museum's educational and preservation programs.

Women's History Month - In observance of National Women in History Month, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site will offer two lectures on the subject of women in Civil War America. The lectures will be held on March 12 and March 19 at 1 p.m. in the Museum Library. The admission fee for each is $5, and advance reservations are recommended due to limited seating.

On Saturday, March 12, Mary Thompson, a research specialist at Mount Vernon, will discuss “The Women Who Saved Mount Vernon.” Ms. Thompson will focus on the vital roles of Ann Pamela Cunningham and Sarah Tracy in preserving George Washington’s home as a national treasure. By establishing the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in 1853, and serving as

its regent for 21 years, Miss Cunningham launched one of America’s first successful fund raising drives for the purchase and restoration of an historically significant structure. Sarah Tracy, Miss Cunningham’s secretary, resided at Mount Vernon during the critical Civil War years, securing it as neutral territory, protecting it from harm and keeping it


On Saturday, March 19, Linda Duffy, a specialist in 19th-century women’s studies, will present “The Cooper Shop Refreshment Saloon: A Touch of Home in Philadelphia.” Ms. Duffy will chronicle the efforts of working-class Philadelphia women who fed and cared for thousands of Union soldiers

traveling to and from the war front. In May of 1861, female civilians set up operations in a former cooperage shop to provide coffee, meals and shelter to Union recruits passing through the city. By war’s end, it is estimated that the women served more than 400,000 free meals to soldiers in

transit, convalescents, Confederate prisoners and refugees. Under the leadership of Anna Ross, a small hospital was also opened on the premises.

Fort Ward Museum is located at 4301 W. Braddock Road in Alexandria, and is the best preserved Union fort in the Civil War Defenses of Washington, D.C. Fort Ward is owned and operated by the City of Alexandria. For more information and reservations, call the Museum at 703-838-4848.

<b1>— Bob Feldkamp