Backyard History

History at Home: Interactive Map Is a Journey Through Alexandria’s African American History

George Washington created this map of Alexandria in 1749. (Photo courtesy Office of Historic Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Calling all history buffs. There is a new way to learn about Alexandria’s African American history. A new interactive map created by the Office of Historic Alexandria takes you back through centuries, to before the city’s founding in 1749.

The online “StoryMap” can be viewed from the comfort of home or you can walk along the Potomac River on the North Waterfront route for a full experience. Just like it does today, the river brought business and leisure to the city.

There are 11 stops along the “African American Hermitage Trail,” expanding the 18th through the 20th centuries.  For a detailed summary of all the stops – including sites on Oronoco Street and at Founder’s Park, click HERE 

However you choose to experience the Trail, you will learn how Alexandria started, that our first president drew its first map, and much more. If you walk, your journey takes 45 minutes to complete, but you can take as long as you want. There is a lot to read, a lot to see, and you may come away with a new understanding of Alexandria’s rich history.

Even though there are a limited number of stops on the map, there are countless more stories. Start your adventure by clicking HERE.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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