Masons Honor Pepper

Masons Honor Pepper

Vice Mayor Redella "Del" Pepper was awarded the 2005 Community Builder Award march 17 by the Andrew Jackson Masonic Lodge #120 during ceremonies at the George Washington Masonic Temple. With it came a $1,000 check to be donated to the charity of her choice.

Pepper designated the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum's Endowment Fund. "I knew the minute I was informed that I was to be the recipient of this award that I wanted to give it to the museum endowment fund," Pepper told the audience assembled in the Lodge meeting area.

"This check will go a long way to helping the pharmacy's endowment fund. And, I plan to use this occasion to gain publicity for that fund," she said.

Joining Pepper at the ceremony held on Andrew Jackson's birthday was Museum Board President Henry A. Hart who accepted the check from Lodge Master Right Worshipful David N. Silver. "Vice Mayor Pepper has always been supportive of Masonic causes and we honor her tonight with this award," Silver said.

"I appreciate Vice Mayor Pepper making us the recipient of this gift. It is this type of generosity and appreciation of history that makes Alexandria such a wonderful City," Hart said.

"When we reopen, we will be one of the most important pharmacy museums in the United States. And, this check will be a great help in our restoration efforts," he said.

THE APOTHECARY Museum at 105-107 S. Fairfax St. has been closed for the past 15 months for extensive interior renovations. Among those efforts is an increase in load capacity to host school tours and classroom activities. It is one of Alexandria's most important, yet least known historic sites, according to Hart.

It's history encompasses four wars, epidemics and the life of its founder, Quaker and abolitionist Edward Stabler. Established in 1792, it functioned as a community pharmacy with customers that included George Washington, James Monroe and Robert E. Lee. The pharmacy operated continuously under the auspices of the Stabler-Leadbeater family until 1933.

"A handful of very dedicated people have skillfully worked for years to raise money for renovation of the pharmacy museum. They have established this endowment fund so that the museum can, hopefully, reopen this spring," Pepper said.

To date the privately owned museum has raised more than $200,000 for the endowment fund, which is restricted to museum operations. All contributions are tax deductible, according to Hart.