Gadsby's Tavern Museum

Gadsby's Tavern Museum Discover Alexandria’s five-star hotel of the 18th century!
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Gadsby’s Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, the c. 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Tavern and Hotel. The buildings and ice well were constructed by John Wise, but made famous by John Gadsby. He hosted George Washington’s Birthnight Ball,and Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Banquet. Located in the heart of Old Town, the museum offers tours and a wide variety of children’s programs and special events throughout the year. Plus keep up with our tavernkeeper Mr. Gadsby on Twitter - @JohnGadsby!

A bit of tavern history today - this picture is quite the scene on our block!
05/21/2020

A bit of tavern history today - this picture is quite the scene on our block!

#ThrowbackThursday During the 1950s and 60s, urban renewal swept the country. This land development idea demolished historic structures in thousands of cities to make way for more modern buildings. Large sections of historic structures in Old Town were replaced with new construction. The entire northside of the 400 block of King was demolished to build Tavern Square, with Gadsby’s Tavern Museum remaining. This destruction sparked citizen action to preserve the remaining historic buildings in Old Town. https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome #PreservationMonth

A special #ThrowbackThursday connected to our Tavern story.
05/07/2020

A special #ThrowbackThursday connected to our Tavern story.

If you #VisitALX, you’re seeing the results of Rebecca Ramsay Reese. A preservation activist, she dreamed of a historic town people would want to live in and visit. She was determined. Even during the Great Depression, she was able to help Post #24 restore the famous City Hotel ballroom, part of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Her efforts transformed the community, one project at a time! Learn more about how she is connected to the preservation story of the ballroom: https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #ThrowbackThursday #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome #PreservationMonth

The Museum might be closed, but the staff is working hard from home to research, finish projects, and generate content f...
05/06/2020

The Museum might be closed, but the staff is working hard from home to research, finish projects, and generate content for #HistoricALX2U. We also added an extra co-worker to our team. She has been very interested in our foodways history - specifically seafood.

05/04/2020
Gadsby's Tavern Museum

In honor of #Maythe4th, a peak at last year’s Celestial Ball and this epic battle on the dance floor. Our ballroom hopes to have dancers back as soon as it is able!

In honor of the #CelestialBall last night, dance master Corky Palmer composed a new English Country Dance to a familiar galactic tavern song. Enjoy #Maythe4thBeWithYou! #StarWars

Chamber Pots - the favorite subject of most school children on a Gadsby School Tour! #MakeItMonday #HistoricALX2U #Museu...
04/20/2020

Chamber Pots - the favorite subject of most school children on a Gadsby School Tour! #MakeItMonday #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome

For this week’s #MakeItMonday, we’re talking toilets! Before indoor plumbing, chamber pots and privies were used. It wasn’t until the start of the Alexandria Water Company in 1852 that some affluent Alexandrians were able to install indoor plumbing in their houses. City archaeologists have found many examples of chamber pots dating from the mid-18th to late-19th century that range in style and decoration. Carefully piecing them back together can give clues to how many people were living in a home, how much money they may have had, and when indoor plumbing came to the area.

Put your artifact mending skills to the test by decorating your own chamber pots and then trying to piece them back together again. Just remember, don’t use them before you do! And as a bonus, play our never-before-seen “Spot the Pot” game:https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283
#HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome #SpotThePot

Today is #Spring2ACTion and instead of raising funds to preserve the ice well, we are raising funds to preserve Freedom ...
04/15/2020

Today is #Spring2ACTion and instead of raising funds to preserve the ice well, we are raising funds to preserve Freedom House, Historic Alexandria, VA's newest historic site. Here thousands of enslaved men, women, and children were sold and trafficked to the Deep South in the 19th century. This site is important and critical as our community grapples with the city’s complex history and role in the domestic slave trade. Join us as we establish a Preservation Fund to restore our first and more important object – the building: https://bit.ly/3c6P9O5

As a museum + tavern that showcased curiosities, we appreciate this #MakeItMonday! What would be in your exhibit?
04/13/2020

As a museum + tavern that showcased curiosities, we appreciate this #MakeItMonday! What would be in your exhibit?

For this week’s #MakeItMonday curate your own exhibit at home! Today’s museums have their roots in 17th century cabinets of curiosities, “Wunderkammer” in German. Mostly for the elite, these spaces contained select rare, odd, or interesting artifacts sometimes accompanied by interpretive labels. Museums evolved and became more accessible to the general public. Alexandria’s first museum opened in 1811 and displayed “relics of the greatest Alexandrians,” including George Washington’s clock, portraits of Jefferson and Lafayette, and Revolutionary War flags. Make your own: https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome

Post a picture in the comments or use #HistoricALX2U to show us your unique creation!

[Throws hand up in the air] We know! We know!
04/10/2020

[Throws hand up in the air] We know! We know!

#FactCheckFriday The ballroom at Gadsby’s is famous, but is it the original room that George Washington danced in for his birthday in 1798 and 1799? Because of its history, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC went looking for American decorative arts, they set their sights on Alexandria and the famous ballroom. The woodwork guests see today in Gadsby’s – reproduction from the 1940s! Listen to a special podcast inspired by the ballroom at the Met: https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome

I bet we know where a certain tavernkeeper got ice for this fancy dessert. Can someone say Ice Well!
04/06/2020

I bet we know where a certain tavernkeeper got ice for this fancy dessert. Can someone say Ice Well!

#MakeItMonday One of America’s favorite desserts is ice cream but did you know it was also a favorite dessert for our founding fathers and mothers? An expensive and labor-intensive treat, ice cream flavors ranged from vanilla to asparagus. Try your hand at making ice cream and exploring the science that makes it possible: https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome

A bit of throwback love for our favorite tavern!
04/02/2020

A bit of throwback love for our favorite tavern!

#ThrowbackThursday American Legion Post 24 was organized in 1920 and Gadsby’s Tavern was the first site that members considered when looking for a permanent home as a monument to veterans, a civic center, and museum. They always promoted the tavern as a “must-see” historic attraction in Alexandria during their operation. These “California tourists” are enjoying their history lesson. Learn more about the Legion and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum: https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome

Although our taverns were not around during Cresswell's time, we know he enjoyed beverages throughout early Alexandria b...
03/26/2020

Although our taverns were not around during Cresswell's time, we know he enjoyed beverages throughout early Alexandria because he wrote about it in his journal. #HistoricALX2U #ThrowbackThursday

#ThrowbackThursday Nicholas Cresswell was an English Loyalist living in Alexandria between 1774-1777. Luckily for historians he recorded a journal of his experiences. On October 24, 1774 he wrote, “Everything here is in utmost confusion” as tensions with the British rose prior to the Revolutionary War. Help historians 200 years from now know what it was like in Alexandria in 2020. Journal your thoughts: https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome

Gadsby's Tavern Museum's cover photo
03/23/2020

Gadsby's Tavern Museum's cover photo

Here at the tavern, we served more up-scale fare than ship biscuits, but try your hand at making one of these 18th centu...
03/23/2020

Here at the tavern, we served more up-scale fare than ship biscuits, but try your hand at making one of these 18th century staples at home! #HistoricALX2U

For this week’s #MakeItMonday, test your 18th century baking skills with this recipe for ship biscuits! Archaeologists found a 200-year-old biscuit in the ground at the Robinson Terminal South Site (44AX235). Try your hand at this recipe and post a picture using #HistoricALX2U so we can see your creation. Link: https://www.alexandriava.gov/114283 #FoodOrRock #MuseumFromHome

Miss visiting your favorite Historic Alexandria sites? Looking for some fun historic activities to share with your kids ...
03/20/2020

Miss visiting your favorite Historic Alexandria sites? Looking for some fun historic activities to share with your kids at home? Let our staff bring history virtually to you! Each weekday starting March 23 we will share new stories and content through our social media channels. Stay tuned for everything from virtual tours of our sites and museums to fun and educational activities. Our center for learning: https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=114283 #HistoricALX2U

Due to shortage of staff and volunteers as well as low attendance, the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) has decided t...
03/17/2020
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Due to shortage of staff and volunteers as well as low attendance, the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) has decided to close its sites starting March 17. Public programs at OHA sites through April 12 have been cancelled or will be rescheduled. Due to the changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website.

In the meantime, you can explore Alexandria’s history virtually through our webpage and social media channels.

Take a moment to journey back to the 18th-century tavern and hotel where famous historical figures and everyday people dined and slept. Through tours, program, and special events, learn about the history, architecture, decorative arts, social customs, food, and clothing of this changing time in Amer...

The Alexandria Health Department continues to advise that the general public in Alexandria is currently at low risk for ...
03/12/2020
Historic Alexandria

The Alexandria Health Department continues to advise that the general public in Alexandria is currently at low risk for COVID-19. To further reduce risk, we have decided to cancel or reschedule the following Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) public programs March 13 through March 22.

Canceled
March 14: Civil War Women’s Day, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site
March 15: Geek Tour - A Magical Apothecary, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
March 22: Geek Tour - Behind the Scenes, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
March 21: Docent-Led Tour Friendship Firehouse Museum

To be rescheduled
March 13: Alexandria After-Work Concert Series, Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum
March 13: Tavern Overnight, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
March 14: Community Remembrance Project Lecture Series-"A White Historian Confronts Slavery," Alexandria’s History Museum at the Lyceum
March 21: Cadette Girl Scout Program, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
March 22: Junior Docent Auditions, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

OHA staff will reach out to guests who have made reservations for the above events. Pre-arranged tours, rentals, and birthday parties at OHA sites will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and guests should contact their site contact. All museums will remain open for visitors at this time.

For the latest information about OHA events, please visit https://www.alexandriava.gov/Historic

Welcome to Historic Alexandria! Visit City of Alexandria museums and historic sites and discover our past, present and future!

The #VAM2020 conference has begun in Fairfax County. After the Gadsby staff presented about the museum’s upgraded tour e...
03/07/2020

The #VAM2020 conference has begun in Fairfax County. After the Gadsby staff presented about the museum’s upgraded tour experience, #FlatJohn headed over to Prince William County Historic Preservation Division’s Ben Lomond. A full sensory tour!

#TBT to this past weekend at George Washington's Birthnight Banquet and Ball. Enjoy the festivities!
02/20/2020
Birthnight Ball 2020 - hancockphoto

#TBT to this past weekend at George Washington's Birthnight Banquet and Ball. Enjoy the festivities!

Jeff Hancock has been an SLR photographer for 30+ years. His initial training was from a photojournalist. Jeff has been on the staff at the newspapers of Hawaii’s Punahou School and Duke University. In addition to photojournalism, he’s been active in a wide variety of genres. His photographs of ...

Scenes from George Washington’s Birthnight Banquet + Ball.
02/16/2020

Scenes from George Washington’s Birthnight Banquet + Ball.

Happy Holidays from Gadsby’s Tavern Museum + Toby the Learned Reindeer!
12/25/2019

Happy Holidays from Gadsby’s Tavern Museum + Toby the Learned Reindeer!

It is with sad hearts that we share the passing of long-time volunteer Kathy Kelly. She was part of the Gadsby’s museum ...
12/22/2019

It is with sad hearts that we share the passing of long-time volunteer Kathy Kelly. She was part of the Gadsby’s museum family, sharing her love for history and this museum for decades, volunteering for everything from 18th-century fairs and Hauntings to Candlelight Tours. She was a founding member of Gadsby's Tavern Museum Society and continued to volunteer as she was able even through health challenges. The museum was a second home to her and her merry band of incredible friends – the Gadsbyettes. The whole museum community will miss her greatly.

Visitation will be at Everly-Wheatly at 1500 Braddock Road on January 2 from 4 – 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Kathy’s family is requesting donations be made to a cancer society or Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.

As the end of year comes to a close, Mr. & Mrs. Gadsby ask for some assistance! It has been 40 years since their last cl...
12/20/2019

As the end of year comes to a close, Mr. & Mrs. Gadsby ask for some assistance! It has been 40 years since their last cleaning and time has taken its toll. Help us restore, xray, and learn more about these two important collection items painted by the famous American painter (and their grandson) John Gadsby Chapman. To donate, visit https://shop.alexandriava.gov/MakeDonation.aspx?skuid=6005765

🎶 It’s beginning to look a lot like Yuletide…🎶 Tickets are still available for Yuletide by Candlelight this Saturday! Jo...
12/11/2019

🎶 It’s beginning to look a lot like Yuletide…🎶
Tickets are still available for Yuletide by Candlelight this Saturday! Join Carlyle House Historic Park, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, and Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden for an evening full of historic festiveness.

Challenge a friend or family member to a game of Shut the Box. This and much more await you at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. A...
11/22/2019

Challenge a friend or family member to a game of Shut the Box.

This and much more await you at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. A perfect outing for Thanksgiving next week - or anytime!

11/21/2019

Step an English country dance and enjoy three centuries of stories in the historic ballroom.

Dive into one of the most popular stories at the museum – the Learned Pig – and don’t miss your chance to take a selfie ...
11/20/2019

Dive into one of the most popular stories at the museum – the Learned Pig – and don’t miss your chance to take a selfie with this 18th century super star!

Immerse yourself in the spaces and the stories of the tavern! Developed based on feedback from guests over the past two ...
11/19/2019

Immerse yourself in the spaces and the stories of the tavern! Developed based on feedback from guests over the past two years, this new experience allows you to journey through the museum at your own pace.

11/18/2019

The museum staff has a present for you that we will unwrap this week – years in the making! Follow along each day to discover the new Gadsby’s experience.

Congratulations to the Washington Nationals on your historic World Series win! To celebrate, we will dive into the City ...
10/31/2019

Congratulations to the Washington Nationals on your historic World Series win! To celebrate, we will dive into the City Tavern's large stock of good liquors to find our best Madeira to toast your success. A hearty huzzah to all! ⚾️🍾🦈

Mr. Gadsby has a message to share today:Current Tavernkeepers are calling me Grandpa Shark to send good cheers and good ...
10/22/2019

Mr. Gadsby has a message to share today:
Current Tavernkeepers are calling me Grandpa Shark to send good cheers and good luck to the Federal City's Washington Nationals in Game 1 of the #WorldSeries. Huzzah!

Featured in Visit Alexandria VA blog, tickets for the Female Stranger Beer dinner with Port City Brewing Company + the D...
10/03/2019
The Ultimate Guide to Halloween Happenings in Alexandria, Virginia

Featured in Visit Alexandria VA blog, tickets for the Female Stranger Beer dinner with Port City Brewing Company + the Death at the City Tavern tour are going like hotcakes - or as GW would prefer, hoecakes!. Snag tickets now if you dare. ☠️

Trick-or-treat at centuries-old sites, experience spine-chilling ghost tours and dress up the whole family (pups included) for Halloween festivities in Alexandria, VA.

This past Saturday, the museum was full of dancing and music for the Jane Austen Ball. Enjoy pictures from the evening!
09/25/2019
Jane Austen Ball 2019 - hancockphoto

This past Saturday, the museum was full of dancing and music for the Jane Austen Ball. Enjoy pictures from the evening!

Jeff Hancock has been an SLR photographer for 30+ years. His initial training was from a photojournalist. Jeff has been on the staff at the newspapers of Hawaii’s Punahou School and Duke University. In addition to photojournalism, he’s been active in a wide variety of genres. His photographs of ...

Curator Callie is excited to show off our newest acquisition - a Gadsby silver dish cover! It matches others in the coll...
09/12/2019

Curator Callie is excited to show off our newest acquisition - a Gadsby silver dish cover! It matches others in the collection and has the signature Gadsby mark. 😍

On September 28, Gadsby's is partnering up with Emerging Revolutionary War for the "Before They Were Americans" Symposiu...
09/06/2019
Symposium Update

On September 28, Gadsby's is partnering up with Emerging Revolutionary War for the "Before They Were Americans" Symposium. Don't miss your opportunity to learn about many related topics, including Alexandria tailor William Carlin. Kate Gruber will draw on her extensive research into his vast business of clothing the town before and during the revolution. Tixs: https://shop.alexandriava.gov/Events.aspx

In today’s fifth installment of the September 28, 2019 symposium Before They Were Americans interview series, Katherine “Kate” Egner Gruber takes the spotlight. Gruber is the spec…

Address

134 N Royal St
Alexandria, VA
22314

Take the BLUE and YELLOW lines to the KING STREET Metro station. Pick up the free trolley or take the AT2, AT5, or AT7 DASH bus for $1.00. The Museum is one block north on Royal Street from King Street.

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Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, the c. 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Tavern and Hotel. The buildings and ice well were financed by John Wise, but made famous by John Gadsby. He hosted George Washington’s Birthnight Ball, and Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Banquet. Located in the heart of Old Town, the museum offers tours and a wide variety of programs and special events throughout the year. Plus keep up with our tavernkeeper Mr. Gadsby on Twitter - @JohnGadsby!


Comments

Has the date for the Jane Austen Ball been determined and when will tickets be available?
https://janicecolehopkins.blogspot.com/2018/05/establishing-first-permanent-english_14.html Today is the anniversary of the first permanent English colony in the New World - - -
Hello. I see your events page lists nothing going forward. I wonder if there will be a Rum Punch Challenge for 2018?
Will there be a Civil War Ball this year?
What time are your guided tours today? thank you!
Photos from last night's Veteran's Ball are posted. Enjoy!
Photos from last night's Jane Austen Ball are posted. Please check them out! Let me know if you have any questions. [email protected] http://www.jeffhancockphotography.com/Events/Gadsby/Jane-Austen-Ball-2017
Great Food and fantastic atmosphere. Highly Recommend!