That’s a name we could give to the combined communities of Oxon Hill, Maryland and Old Town Alexandria. It’ll never fly, but these two elements of the DMV do hold common interests and share a bit of history.
I was reminded of this yesterday on a walk along the National Harbor trail. Five interpretive markers there tell some of the story of Oxon Hill. Two of the markers include images of Alexandria.
Here in Washington, we often start our historical reference with the foundings of Alexandria and Georgetown. There’s no denying those major milestones, but let's not forget the Addison family built a stately manor on the top of Oxon Hill, a spot now occupied by the eastern end of the MGM Casino construction site. This was 1711, almost 40 years before the new town of Alexandria stole eyeballs away from the eastern shore side.
Alexandria businessmen advertised in The Maryland Gazette and The Alexandria Gazette gave peeks into life in Prince George’s County. A ferry ran between the two.
The relationship between the two shore mates has waxed and waned through the years. Long connected by a ferry, a new and much faster era was ushered in with the building of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in 1960. The span brought the two sides together like never before. Commuters, however, often cussed the bottlenecks and back ups (Remember the bridge jumper-jurisdictional fiasco in 1998?)
The new Wilson bridge has brought some measure of comfort, and the pedestrian/cycling path brings the two sides together in ways never possible before.
And best of all, after figuring out a win-win approach (at least one of the local weekly newspapers sure played up the dark specter and fear facets when National Harbor construction began), the suits in Alexandria's chambers now work together with National Harbor executives to help raise boats on both sides of the Potomac.