Although it may never reach the stature of DuPont Circle, Georgetown, or its bosom buddy, Old Town Alexandria, the Carlyle neighborhood is an oncoming player. Current bragging rights include a pair of employment anchors - the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Motley Fool, Whole Foods, two Metro stops, Alexandria’s Union Station, flyovers in and out of I-95/I495, and the Hoffman 22 theaters. On the boards are several real estate projects, including the Hoffman Towers that will rise to 35 stories.
Residents of Carlyle also have close proximity to three historic districts – Old Town, Parker-Gray and Del Ray. What they may not realize, however, is their patch of land has some stories too. To look around the neighborhood, that seems like a paradox. Nothing there hints at any prior occupations. Its main road, Eisenhower Avenue, suggests only recent history.
But thanks to the great work done by archaeologists, the surprisingly rich history of this part of Alexandria has been uncovered. “West End,” a report prepared in 1998 for the Norfolk Southern Corporation by Kurt P. Schweigert (He credits Timothy J. Hill’s Master Thesis, The Origins of West End,” as a major source, as well as Alexandria Archaeology), details the stories.
In addition, below is a brief list of some of the places. As the document notes, this area was considered as West’s End. It’s a bit confusing because in the purest sense, West’s End was a village concentrated around the intersection of Jamieson and Holland Avenue. But the borders were loose, and extended as far north as King Street, and as far west as Telegraph Road. Of course, these roads did not exist back then, excepting for Duke and King. Mill Road did, but not on the same path as the current one.
Off the map, on the upper left is the location of Cameron, which sprung up with an ordinary in 1820 or so. At the crossroads of three colonial roads, Cameron fought fiercely to become the shipping point and main town in the area. By the margin of a tobacco leaf, Old Town Alexandria was selected.
Anyway, spend some time with this document. It is amazing.
West End Village - Whole Foods is in the middle of the site.
John West’s Home - Hard to say exactly. Near corner of
Cameron Yards - Roundhouse was north of the USPTO. Tracks went west from there, passed by where the Courthouse is, turned up and joined up with the main track.
Orange and Alexandria Railroad - Ran from corner of Duke and Henry, westward along what is now Jamieson.
Junkyard - Corner of Mill Road and Jamieson.
"Colored Cemetery" - Incorporated into the Alexandria African-American Heritage Park.