So it's been a while...

I had intended to post regularly on some sort of schedule but good intentions pave many roads, and some of them are detours. I've had a few detours in recent months.

I agreed to serve as the official parish archivist for St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Alexandria. St. Paul's has had one archivist that I know of and since she passed away, the opening was unfilled. I don't think it's been an official position, however there's been a push to curate, catalogue, and preserve the artifacts that St. Paul's has. It's a pretty cool job for someone like me who has a deeply vested interest in culture and history, and likes to disseminate that curiosity and knowledge to a wider audience.

Up till now, archiving has been the work of an ad hoc group working whenever we can. Now, it's more formalized with a specific committee that will establish a collections management policy and figure out the best way to preserve a very rich history.

What's this all about?

I really enjoy doing research. I co-founded an archival committee at my church in 2017, and I'm now conducting research for a forthcoming book about the Rev. William H. Wilmer (more on that later) as a spin-off of that work.

I believe that education never ends so when I find when I'm researching a topic, I always learn something. The work is varied enough that I don't get bored and when I go down a rabbit hole, occasionally I get lucky and find something really good. So I started this blog as a repository for some of the interesting people, places, and events that I come across in my research.

Port City is the name given to the city of Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria was founded in 1749, and it sat atop a high bluff some 20 feet above the river, on the shore of a crescent-shaped bay. In the early years of the city, ships were unable to navigate the shallow waters that developed along the shore. Cliffs were cut and “banked out,” and filled in with excess soil from new roads, discarded ships, ballasts, road run-off, household trash, and other wastes. By 1798 the shore extended two blocks into the river to create Port City.

You can read a more detailed description of Alexandria's founding and growth at the Historic Alexandria web site. I highly recommend it.

Typewriter photo courtesy of William Marasco