Historic Alexandria

Want To Teach Alexandria History? Apothecary Museum in Old Town Looking for Volunteers

Sign outside the Alexandria Apothecary
Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary Museum at 105-107 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria. (Photo: Lillis Photography)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Are you a history buff who enjoys learning about Alexandria’s past and passing that knowledge on to others? There’s a job opening that’s right up your alley! The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum is looking for volunteer tour guides.

Opened in 1792, the shop was originally owned by Edward Stabler, who passed it down through generations of family until its closing in 1933. It became a museum in 1939 a National Historic Landmark this year. During its operation as a business, according to the website Atlas Obscura, Stabler and his family sold medicine to Martha Washington and Robert E. Lee. The store also sold items such as paintbrushes garden tools, and cigars. (Stabler’s son, William, had a brother-in-law, John Leadbetaer, who added his name to the business.)

The website indicates that at the peak of business in 1865, “the apothecary owned 11 buildings and warehouses throughout the city and supplied nearly 500 pharmacies in the Washington, DC area. ”

Associated with the Office of Historic Alexandria, the museum asks that prospective volunteers donate at least four hours a month The first in-person training takes place Saturday, Sept. 25 from 1-2:30 p.m. Training wraps up Nov. 6 with another in-person session. In between, there are virtual evening sessions.

Training is free but completing this online application is required. Following submission, a staff member will make contact to provide more details. Please note current COVID-19 protocol requires all volunteers to be vaccinated and wear a mask at the museum.

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum is located at 105-107 S. Fairfax St.

Donald Simpson Jr. is a Living Legend of Alexandria



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