Washington DC in July: Part 4

On our final day of our trip, we spent the day in Alexandria, VA. We had several hours before the wedding so we decided to check out some of the historic sites.

We started off the day with a wonderful brunch on King Street. I had a seafood omelette which had lobster, shrimp, and crab with a wonderful glass of champagne and strawberries. The omelette was tasty though I ended up eating all the seafood and half the egg. And anything with champagne is wonderful.

Then we decided to check out the facts of the Female Stranger ghost story. So we decided to head out to the cemetery and see if she really was buried under the pseudonym. Well, this proved a little adventurous. The websites about the story said she is buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery. Mere blocks from King Street is St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. However, when we walked there, we didn’t find any sign of a cemetery. So we decided to go to the Alexandria National Cemetery, which was a small jaunt away. When we got there, we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. We found a gamekeeper’s house, which had a sign encouraging guns (awkward). I called the hotel to see if they knew but they thought the Church nearby was the place. Then we saw signs for several named cemeteries including St. Paul’s.

When we found the lot, I looked for tabletop graves because the guide had mentioned that was what they used to memorialize her. With that, I quickly found it. And yes, she is buried under “Female Stranger.” So bizarre! I’ve seen many anonymous graves for “the Unknown Soldier” etc. but never for a person whose identity was known beforehand. Crazy. I’d believe she’d be around haunting people for that fact alone. Apparently, these tabletop graves were actually used for picnics back in the day.

Female StrangerTabletop Gravestone

Then we decided to check out Gadsby’s Tavern, which would close the entire story of the Female Stranger. We actually had a late lunch in the restaurant , where they tried to recreate the founding era of the tavern. All the waitstaff were wearing period costumes. It was quite nice. And the brie/apple french toast was really good.

The tour of the Tavern was not very long but it was neat to see all the various rooms. We learned that when you stayed at a tavern, you paid for a place to sleep, not a bed or your own room. People would share beds. No wonder travel was a pain. If you were wealthier, you might get your own bed in a separate room. We also saw the room where the Female Stranger died and supposedly haunts. And we got to see the ballroom where the annual Birthnight ball that George Washington attended a few times. Very neat. This is a facsimile since the Met has the original room (what is up with the Met having entire rooms!) Quite neat. Sadly, the building had a pipe burst in January so they are trying to repair damage from then.

Female Stranger's windowBirthnight Ballroom

That’s all for the trip!

Just a note for constant readers, I’m going to be scaling back each week on posts with all the madness in the upcoming months. So I’ll likely post at least once a week or more depending on the insanity of wedding planning. But I’ll still march on with my bowler hat!

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