January 2017 Alexandria Events

Alexandria, VA’s New 2017 Tours, Exhibits and Events

Bring PBS’ Original Drama MERCY STREET

to Life for Second Season

City that Inspired PBS Series Announces 25 New Visitor Experiences

As fans of the PBS Civil War-era drama MERCY STREET anticipate the show’s return for a second season on January 22, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. ET, historic Alexandria, Virginia announces 25 new tours, exhibits and events inspired by the series, launching in 2017 as the new season airs.
MERCY STREET, PBS’ first original American drama in a decade, is inspired by real events of Civil War Alexandria. Alexandria celebrates the national spotlight on its history by presenting 35 visitor experiences for MERCY STREET fans in 2017, including 25 new offerings. Fans are invited to visit the city’s historic sites to enjoy new exhibits and events inspired by the series, with several that focus on Civil War-era cultural customs including food, fashion and music. Uncover the real people behind the characters on the show, the realities of Civil War medicine, the changing roles for women, and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African-Americans claiming their freedom.



  • Carlyle House events including “Gala in the Garden” with MERCY STREET producers (May 20), “Love and Romance Between the Lines” open house event (Feb. 11) with historic chocolate treats and reenactors playing real-life love birds Frank Stringfellow and Emma Green, and “Fashion Show and Tea on the Terrace” (June 4) featuring Civil War-era fashion
  • Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum’s “Apothecary of Mercy Specialty Tour” (starts Jan. 8) and “This Terrible Disease” exhibit (opens Jan. 13) featuring prescriptions and remedies sold to the Union Commissary Department and to the contraband population and civilian residents in Alexandria during the Civil War
  • Civil War-inspired food events including “Civil War Wine Dinner with Gray Ghost Winery” (Jan. 26) and “Heflebower’s Cobblers and Cocktails” (Feb. 3), both at Gadsby’s Tavern, and lectures at the Lyceum including programs with the authors of “Food in the Civil War Era” (Jan. 12) and “Starving the South” (Feb. 23).
  • “Before the Spirits are Swept Away: African American Historic Site Paintings by Sherry Z. Sanabria” (continues through May 2017) at the Alexandria Black History Museum featuring over 20 paintings honoring the lives of African-Americans who survived slavery, and years of racial injustice, but whose presence defined the American landscape
  • Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site’s “U.S. Colored Troops Living History Encampment” (Apr. 8) portraying the history, training and solider life of African-American units associated with the Civil War defenses of Washington and “Fort Ward Tour and Civil War Concert” (May 20) with a solider-led tour of Fort Ward and period music by the Federal City Brass Band


Ten visitor experiences are returning for a second year, including the top-visited MERCY STREET-inspired exhibit, “Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital” at Carlyle House, once the Green family home adjacent to the Mansion House hospital, featuring an interpretation of period hospital rooms and doctor/officer housing, plus stories of nurse Mary Phinney and spy Frank Stringfellow.



January/Early February Events:


Civil War Sundays at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum

January 8-May 29, 2017

Admission: Free

Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 3rd floor of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314



Explore the Civil War in Alexandria with Civil War Sundays, a showcase of an original May 26, 1861, edition New-York Tribune detailing Colonel Elmer Ellsworth’s death in Alexandria, a Peeps Diorama illustrating Ellsworth’s death, a diorama of a heating system constructed in Alexandria to warm Civil War hospital tents during the winter of 1861, a cocked and loaded Wickham musket discarded in a privy during the 1860s, an exhibit on the Lee St. Site during the Civil War, and more! Tour the Alexandria Archaeology Museum between 1 and 5 p.m. for Civil War Sundays, on the 3rd floor of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Admission is free though donations are encouraged.


Civil War Wine Dinner with Gray Ghost Winery

January 26, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Admission: $125

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum & Restaurant, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314



Start your evening in the City Hotel for the first course and conversation with Gray Ghost Vineyards, whose wines are created on lands “Gray Ghost” Confederate John S. Mosby and his men operated upon during the Civil War. Then head down to the restaurant’s main dining room to experience more wine and great food inspired by the 19th-century. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the first tasting. Dress is business casual.


Heflebower’s Cobblers & Cocktails at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

February 3, 2017 from 7-9 p.m.

Admission: $50 includes two drink tickets, period appetizers and evening of historic socializing

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314



It is 1862 and tavern keeper Samuel Heflebower is running a bar at the City Hotel where cocktails are “swallowed in the darkness.” Come taste 19th-century cocktails, learn a bit of tavern history, and try to evade the Provost Marshall!


Publishers Note: We will continue to print Mercy Street themed events as they happen during the course of the year. We hope you are all tuned in to the series since it is right here in our own back yard!

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