Here’s a quick rundown on the segments I watched.
Bob Madison, author of “Walking with Washington” and a long time docent at Carlyle House, talked about George Washington’s relationships to Carlyle House, Gadsby’s Tavern and Christ Church. That’s some kind of Triple Crown in terms of great places in Old Town and Bob knows his turf.
The segment on Fort Ward was excellent. Suburban development devoured most of the city’s past, so we’re fortunate to have such a place with much intact, and much attention given to it by the city. And it isn’t just Civil War items either. An African-American community lived there too.
Fran Bromberg did a great job telling Alexandria Archaeology’s story. Their work at Shuter’s Hill is ongoing and focuses on a mansion they know was there, but have yet to find any remains. They are excited about finding the washer house, and have been able to connect a name to it.
Erin Adams was equally eloquent at the Lee-Fendall House. She talked about some of the history behind this showpiece house, the only Lee-associated home open to the public. One aspect of the home is the telescopic style, rare in our area.
With two books, hundreds of articles with the Alexandria Gazette-Packet and reports on WAMU, and his local knowledge, Michael Lee Pope has become the voice of Alexandria. He spoke about the slave trade at 1315 Duke Street and the first cornerstone of the District at Jones Point.
Amy Bertsch, author of "The History of the Alexandria Police Department," told that story. Her talk took on a sharp poignancy when we were reminded about the sacrifice involved when the police serve the city (Godspeed Officer LaBoy!)
All in all, a great job by C-SPAN’s Local Content folks, and the Alexandria experts. I do think the one hole in the coverage is the city’s seaport aspects, which made the city what it is today.
So why is this?
Not sure. Waterfront Park does contain the SV Dory, a shipbuilder’s statue, a cannon and an anchor, but perhaps the producers wanted a museum-type entity.
I know feelings run high in Old Town on the subject of the waterfront plan. But the action the city took this weekend is important to move forward. The Waterfront History Plan has great ideas and recommendations.
Let’s hope the next time the cameras and producers arrive, there will be a focal point for the city’s seaport history. Personally, I’m hoping for that tall ship in permanent dock.
How about you?