Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden

Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden The Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden is a historic house museum located in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The museum interprets the lives of the people who lived there from 1785 to 1969.
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Operating as usual

The next featured item in our textile collection is a hand-embroidered linen decorative piece.  This unfinished piece wa...
06/11/2021

The next featured item in our textile collection is a hand-embroidered linen decorative piece. This unfinished piece was donated by a Virginia family, and contains the biblical quote “Go thou and Do Likewise.” The template used for this embroidery is from the J.F. Ingalls 1886 embroidery pattern book which was sold for 25 cents throughout the late 1800s. The J.F. Ingalls company from Lynn, Massachusetts was established as a mail order business in 1878, publishing a number of transfer patterns and instructional embroidery books. Patterns from these books were ironed onto a piece of fabric or paper and could be used for painting, embroidery, monograms, stamping, and a number of other artistic uses. This piece features waterfowl and floral motifs along with fringed edging.

​Throughout the nineteenth century, girls and young women had limited educational options. Instead of following an academic curriculum, girls were often sent to schools that would teach them “female accomplishments” such as painting, manners, music, sewing, and embroidery. Familial wealth was required to send girls to boarding schools where they would be taught to embroider with skill. Several young women connected to the Lee-Fendall House attended boarding schools. The ability to embroider became synonymous with a high social status. Works completed by young women were often displayed in the home, revealing a woman’s status and value to potential suitors.

​Stay tuned to see more featured items from our historic costume and textile collection!

What do British wartime leader Winston Churchill and delicious frozen treats have in common? They’re both featured in st...
06/09/2021

What do British wartime leader Winston Churchill and delicious frozen treats have in common? They’re both featured in stops on this weekend’s Old Town Scavenger Hunt, a joint project between us and Carlyle House Historic Park! Sign up our Eventbrite page (leefendallhouse.eventbrite.com), pick up your sheet of clues, explore some of Alexandria’s hidden history, and turn in your completed sheet at the end to receive a BOGO coupon for Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats!

What do British wartime leader Winston Churchill and delicious frozen treats have in common? They’re both featured in stops on this weekend’s Old Town Scavenger Hunt, a joint project between us and Carlyle House Historic Park! Sign up our Eventbrite page (leefendallhouse.eventbrite.com), pick up your sheet of clues, explore some of Alexandria’s hidden history, and turn in your completed sheet at the end to receive a BOGO coupon for Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats!

Costumes and textiles are a valuable part of the Lee-Fendall House Museum’s collection, providing insight into the cloth...
06/05/2021

Costumes and textiles are a valuable part of the Lee-Fendall House Museum’s collection, providing insight into the clothing choices, socioeconomic statuses, and daily lives of historical communities. Our first set of featured objects includes a lady’s riding beaver and a pair of leather riding gloves. The hat and gloves date back to the first half of the nineteenth century, the hat was made by Pemberton Hatters on Regent Street in London. Both were owned by local Alexandria families and were likely brought over from Europe as luxury items.

Although this hat was styled after a men’s top hat, there were noticeable differences between male and female riding fashion, such as tighter gloves and decorative trim added to the beaver hats for women. Equestrian activities were one of the only occasions during which women could dress in a more masculine and comfortable style, as opposed to the extremely feminine and often uncomfortable styles that society usually expected women to wear.

Beaver fur has long been a desirable material for riding hats because of its soft texture and waterproof properties. Beaver hats became popular in Europe in the mid 1500s, and were a symbol of upper-class wealth until both European and American beaver populations were virtually wiped out by the early 1900s and these hats fell out of style. This transition made way for silk hats.

Stay tuned to see more featured items from our historic costume and textile collection!

We can’t wait for this, we only have a few spaces left so register today!
06/04/2021

We can’t wait for this, we only have a few spaces left so register today!

Calling all Trivia fans! Our annual Trivia Night at Historic Sites is back next Friday, June 11th at 7pm Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden . We'll be kicking off the summer with 1980s Trivia! So grab those leg warmers, leather jackets, track suits, and scrunchies and join us for a night of fun!

Tickets are $8 a person and includes 1 drink ticket.

(Do you recognize any of our staff and volunteers in this 1980s collage?)

Tickets are be purchased on Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.com/e/trivia-nights-at-historic-sites-tickets-153158177231

#visitalx #trivianights #1980s #historicsites #trivia #summerevenings #eveningprograms #summerprograms

Our summer newsletter is out now!http://www.leefendallhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2021-Newsletter-Summer-1.pdf
06/04/2021

Our summer newsletter is out now!

http://www.leefendallhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2021-Newsletter-Summer-1.pdf

Our summer newsletter is out now!

http://www.leefendallhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2021-Newsletter-Summer-1.pdf

We are so excited that Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats at the historic Ice House is open! We've teamed up with them and ...
06/03/2021
Old Town Scavenger Hunt

We are so excited that Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats at the historic Ice House is open! We've teamed up with them and Carlyle House Historic Park to create a fun, history themed scavenger hunt for the whole family on Saturday, June 12. The hunt starts at the Lee-Fendall House at 11am (last scavenger hunt will be handed out at 3pm) with the hunt ending at Goodies where completed scavenger hunts will be rewarded with a buy one get one free coupon. Register today!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/old-town-scavenger-hunt-tickets-153719997651

Enjoy a summer afternoon exploring Old Town with a history-themed scavenger hunt and a delicious treat!

We welcomed our summer collections management intern to the museum this week! Stay tuned as Emma shares highlights from ...
05/28/2021

We welcomed our summer collections management intern to the museum this week! Stay tuned as Emma shares highlights from our historic textile and clothing collection over the next few months.

“My name is Emma Saaty, and I am a rising junior at the George Washington University, pursuing a Biological Anthropology major and Archaeology and Journalism minors. I am from Arlington, Virginia, and I have always been passionate about local area history and the preservation of both material and oral culture. Through past experiences working in both archaeological laboratories and museum settings, I have realized that regional museum work is where I hope to direct my future career path. I am very excited to begin my collections management internship at the Lee-Fendall House, and learn how to care for artifacts and archives that tell the story of the rich history that this property has to offer.”

What’s your favorite season in the Lee-Fendall garden? Right now, we’re partial to peony season.
05/26/2021

What’s your favorite season in the Lee-Fendall garden? Right now, we’re partial to peony season.

What’s your favorite season in the Lee-Fendall garden? Right now, we’re partial to peony season.

This section of the house served as quarters for enslaved domestic workers. Fifteen people, almost half of them children...
05/13/2021

This section of the house served as quarters for enslaved domestic workers. Fifteen people, almost half of them children, were enslaved at the Lee-Fendall House in 1805. After the Civil War, these rooms were lived in by African Americans who worked as servants in the house through the early twentieth century.

This physical space reflected the forced social separation that existed between the people who lived here and those who lived in the main part of the house. The space was cramped, uncomfortable, and positioned lower to the main part of the house. This architecture of control was one of the many methods used to enforce the racial hierarchy, and was built into early American homes like the Lee-Fendall House.

We still have a few spots left on our tour this Saturday, Under the Same Roof: Enslaved and Free Servants at the Lee-Fendall House. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/under-the-same-roof-enslaved-and-free-servants-at-the-lee-fendall-house-tickets-144900606615

This section of the house served as quarters for enslaved domestic workers. Fifteen people, almost half of them children, were enslaved at the Lee-Fendall House in 1805. After the Civil War, these rooms were lived in by African Americans who worked as servants in the house through the early twentieth century.

This physical space reflected the forced social separation that existed between the people who lived here and those who lived in the main part of the house. The space was cramped, uncomfortable, and positioned lower to the main part of the house. This architecture of control was one of the many methods used to enforce the racial hierarchy, and was built into early American homes like the Lee-Fendall House.

We still have a few spots left on our tour this Saturday, Under the Same Roof: Enslaved and Free Servants at the Lee-Fendall House. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/under-the-same-roof-enslaved-and-free-servants-at-the-lee-fendall-house-tickets-144900606615

May is #HistoricPreservationMonth and we are excited to be teaming up with Historic Alexandria, VA and Carlyle House His...
05/05/2021
Historic Preservation Month 2021

May is #HistoricPreservationMonth and we are excited to be teaming up with Historic Alexandria, VA and Carlyle House Historic Park to offer virtual and in-person programming that explores local historic preservation efforts. The theme this year focuses on Equity in Preservation. Check out the full program calendar at https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=121908

May is Historic Preservation Month. This year, Historic Alexandria and its partners are focusing on Equity in Preservation.

The fig tree makes a return to our garden!“The two walnut trees were always laden with nuts (with beautifully white meat...
05/02/2021

The fig tree makes a return to our garden!

“The two walnut trees were always laden with nuts (with beautifully white meat). And the fig trees were usually heavy with the very sweet figs.”
- recollections of the Lee-Fendall garden in the early 1900s by Lillian C. Perry (second from the left in photo 2).

We are excited for our sold-out Historic Garden Tour on May 7!

On May 1, 1943, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9340, placing coal mines under the control of the Federal Gov...
04/29/2021

On May 1, 1943, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9340, placing coal mines under the control of the Federal Government. This was in response to a nationwide coal strike led by labor leader John L. Lewis who believed coal miners were working under unsafe and unfair conditions made worse by wartime demands.

Many Americans considered Lewis’ call to strike as unpatriotic, even treasonous. Protesters gathered outside his private home, the Lee-Fendall House, demanding an end to the strikes. Due to this and subsequent strikes, the Federal Government sought to curtail labor’s power, a move that would have far-reaching consequences.

Join us on May 1 at 2:00 PM for our special focus tour, Blood and Strikes: American Labor in the 20th Century. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blood-and-strikes-american-labor-in-the-20th-century-tickets-145558863479

On May 1, 1943, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9340, placing coal mines under the control of the Federal Government. This was in response to a nationwide coal strike led by labor leader John L. Lewis who believed coal miners were working under unsafe and unfair conditions made worse by wartime demands.

Many Americans considered Lewis’ call to strike as unpatriotic, even treasonous. Protesters gathered outside his private home, the Lee-Fendall House, demanding an end to the strikes. Due to this and subsequent strikes, the Federal Government sought to curtail labor’s power, a move that would have far-reaching consequences.

Join us on May 1 at 2:00 PM for our special focus tour, Blood and Strikes: American Labor in the 20th Century. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blood-and-strikes-american-labor-in-the-20th-century-tickets-145558863479

In 1941, James Lewis, Jr. began working as a chauffeur for John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers of Americ...
04/28/2021

In 1941, James Lewis, Jr. began working as a chauffeur for John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). James was frequently refused service at restaurants and other segregated establishments during his travels and as a black man driving a Cadillac, often on his own, he faced the real threat of harassment and worse.

His story is yet another that we look forward to telling as part of our new permanent exhibit - made possible in part by archival materials related to his life which his children donated to Lee-Fendall a few years ago. Help us tell his story along with so many others, by contributing to our #Spring2Action campaign before midnight tonight: https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/lee-fendall-house-museum-garden

In 1941, James Lewis, Jr. began working as a chauffeur for John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). James was frequently refused service at restaurants and other segregated establishments during his travels and as a black man driving a Cadillac, often on his own, he faced the real threat of harassment and worse.

His story is yet another that we look forward to telling as part of our new permanent exhibit - made possible in part by archival materials related to his life which his children donated to Lee-Fendall a few years ago. Help us tell his story along with so many others, by contributing to our #Spring2Action campaign before midnight tonight: https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/lee-fendall-house-museum-garden

We are over halfway to our goal thanks to 3️⃣0️⃣ generous supporters! Will you help us get to $10,000 before midnight so...
04/28/2021

We are over halfway to our goal thanks to 3️⃣0️⃣ generous supporters! Will you help us get to $10,000 before midnight so that we can launch the exhibit this summer? Head to the link in the comments to make a secure, tax-deductible donation.

We are over halfway to our goal thanks to 3️⃣0️⃣ generous supporters! Will you help us get to $10,000 before midnight so that we can launch the exhibit this summer? Head to the link in the comments to make a secure, tax-deductible donation.

#Spring2Action is tomorrow! We're raising funds to launch a permanent exhibit that tells the stories of black individual...
04/27/2021

#Spring2Action is tomorrow! We're raising funds to launch a permanent exhibit that tells the stories of black individuals, enslaved and free, who lived and worked here over the course of 200 years. Will you step up to make it possible? You'll be part of ensuring that Lee-Fendall remains a vital community resource for understanding our history in a way that is complete and relevant - and your name will be listed in the exhibit space, honoring your commitment to helping us tell our full history. Visit the link in the comments to make your tax-deductible gift today.

#Spring2Action is tomorrow! We're raising funds to launch a permanent exhibit that tells the stories of black individuals, enslaved and free, who lived and worked here over the course of 200 years. Will you step up to make it possible? You'll be part of ensuring that Lee-Fendall remains a vital community resource for understanding our history in a way that is complete and relevant - and your name will be listed in the exhibit space, honoring your commitment to helping us tell our full history. Visit the link in the comments to make your tax-deductible gift today.

As #nationalvolunteerweek draws to a close, we want to thank all of our amazing volunteers who lead educational tours, m...
04/23/2021

As #nationalvolunteerweek draws to a close, we want to thank all of our amazing volunteers who lead educational tours, maintain our garden, and research our history and collections. Lee-Fendall House is an important community resource because of you. Thank you!
#leefendallvolunteers

As #nationalvolunteerweek draws to a close, we want to thank all of our amazing volunteers who lead educational tours, maintain our garden, and research our history and collections. Lee-Fendall House is an important community resource because of you. Thank you!
#leefendallvolunteers

Address

614 Oronoco St
Alexandria, VA
22314

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(703) 548-1789

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The Lee-Fendall House: Discover Our Shared History

The Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden interprets American history through the experiences of the people who lived and worked on the property from 1785 to 1969. Through tours, special programs, and exhibits we discover our shared history as a community and as a nation. Join us.


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Comments

Rendering used for Alexandria Guide cover back in 1990.
Thank you for the wonderful and enlightening tour yesterday! Carlos & Patricia
Thank you Amanda for your lovely and informative tour. I wished we lived closer to visit more often.
Discover the forgotten stories of teetotalers and bootleggers on our walking tour of Prohibition-era Alexandria this Saturday, October 5! Learn about the dramatic campaign to ban alcohol in Virginia which threatened a long, local tradition of alcohol production and sale. The tour begins at 10 AM at the Lee-Fendall House, home to the Downham family, some of the city's most prominent liquor dealers. Tickets are $10.
Loving my Lee-Fendall ornament! Looks so nice on my tree 😊🎄
Rhiannon Giddens with a reproduction of an original model of a Banjo that was developed by Slaves, singing the Tale of a Slave Girl who is about to flee with the Arrival of Union Troops.
Hello, I am from Washington State and while shopping at a Goodwill store, my boyfriend and I found several old copies of Orient from 1955. On the cover was stamped the name "Bill Fendall". I found this page after a Google search and wanted to share this info. Since Bill resided in Oregon, we thought these might well have belonged to him. Please let me know if you have any interest in these, as I will happily send them to you for your collection. My apologies for the blurry picture, but you can read his name there stamped in red.