Collingwood Library and Museum

The Collingwood Foundation‘s main building and grounds, which were once part of George Washington’s River Farm, are south of Alexandria on the banks of the Potomac River, surrounded by woods and gardens. The mission of the foundation is to foster an appreciation of our American Heritage by sharing these facilities with all. There are three components to achieving this mission.

Firstly, the Collingwood Library on Americanism boasts a library of more than five thousand volumes on American heritage. Secondly, the Collingwood Museum is home to an eclectic collection of Americana. Lastly, the foundation opens the grounds to serve as a venue for weddings, corporate gatherings and other private events. are available for weddings, receptions and other private functions.

Collingwood, as the whole is generally referred to, is primarily dependent upon contributions from the public and income from third party events. Collingwood is comprised of a historic mansion between the Potomac and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Today the property is approximately 8.7 acres but the property was once a part of George Washington’s estate of his River Farm at Mount Vernon. Collingwood was purchased by George Washington in 1760. River Farm was the largest of the five working farms all of which were a part of his Mount Vernon estate. Collingwood’s namesake was a member of the British forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill and in 1805 an Admiral commanding a portion of the British fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar.

The original house constructed in 1792 was a modest one, but in time there were at least three major additions to the house. From a small two-room house to its current condition as a colonial mansion the property has had many occupants and usages over time. Over the course of the last two and half centuries, Collingwood has been home to farmers, a ferry operator, airline crew members, and Intelligence School students. For a part of the 20th Century, Collingwood served up meals as an area restaurant.

But time took a toll on Colingwood and by 1977 it was no more than overgrown, neglected land and a much vandalized building that only hinted at the history found here. At that time a group of dedicated National Sojourners obtained the property. took possession of the property. Presently, the Foundation for Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism, with offices for Headquarters National Sojourners, maintains and occupies the property.

Collingwood Library and Museum consists of a historic mansion that houses thousands of books and artifacts relating to the history of America. As part of George Washington’s River Farm, our rich history had many of our founding fathers walking this land in our nation’s infancy. Nestled on approximately 8.7 acres on the Potomac River off the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria, VA, Collingwood is available for conferences, retreats, business meetings and weddings.


Area Museums and Historical Sites

Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens is the oldest national historic preservation organization in the country, and it has always been in the forefront of the restoration field. Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America and is open 365 days a year. Mount Vernon was the home of our first President George Washington. The grounds are well-preserved as is the home itself.

Alexandria Lyceum is a grand hall built in the late 1800’s to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading. Since that time, it has been a Civil War hospital, a private home, an office building and the nation’s first Bicentennial Center. In 1985, The Lyceum became Alexandria’s History Museum, providing exhibitions, school programs, lectures and concerts, volunteer opportunities and space for rental functions for the community. The Lyceum Museum Shop carries a wide variety of maps, books, note cards and special items related to Alexandria’s history. The present-day Lyceum Company serves the museum as a membership and fund-raising organization.

Walk to Old Towne! Old Towne is filled with historic landmarks, carriage rides and walking history tours.

Just a few miles down George Washington Parkway is the nationally renown collection of museums called the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is a wonderful zoo.

Civil War enthusiasts might want to inspect Fort Willard just as President Lincoln did. Fort Willard has long since abandoned its military use and is now a quiet park like Fort Hunt.

If you are interested in architecture and local history visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House or the Woodlawn Plantation. The Collingwood Library and musuem is dedicated to providing information about our national heritage to the American Public. Collingwood is available to anyone who cares to learn of the heroic efforts made by American Patriots, particularly members of the Masonic Fraternity, in founding and developing this, the greatest nation on earth.

Collingwood is a resource as a local library but also interesting place to visit in it’s own right.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Stuart at (703)765-0300.

Serene River Towers in Autumn

looking up at high-rise
Nine-story high-rise framed by evergreens

Located at 6641 Wakefield Drive in Alexandria VA 22307, blanketed by waterways and parks over 27 acres of woods, River Towers is situated just between Fort Hunt Road and the George Washington Parkway.

The serene neighborhood of River Towers offers a relaxed private environment very close to Old Town Alexandria. Residents here have easy access to the Potomac River, Alexandria and Washington D.C. Many condos here have water views. Some have views of the nearby parks.

What to Find at River Towers:

front view of 31 building
Welcome to River Towers
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Fitness Center
  • Cinema
  • Game Club
  • Library
  • Mount Vernon Recreation Center
  • Monuments
  • Museums
  • Pool
  • Clinic
  • Playground
  • Restaurants
  • Wildlife Viewing

What to Do at River Towers:

  • Basketball
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Diving
  • Fishing
  • Golfing
  • Hiking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Racquetball
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Shopping

    River Towers in Autumn
    River Towers in Autumn
  • Tennis
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Volunteering

With Fall here, River Towers’ is a picturesque nature filled neighborhood more than ever and more exciting activities to enjoy within the community.


Looking for Condominiums on the Potomac River?

Porto Vecchio Condominiums are located on the Southern tip of Old Town at the edge of the George Washington Parkway. The balconies at these units offer views of the water. Outside the building there are paved roads sitting right next to the Potomac River. Also there are wooden docks situated on the water. Amenities at Porto Vecchio include: a swimming pool overlooking the Potomac, a gorgeous veranda, a dock, tennis courts, an exercise room, sauna, bright and open party rooms, easy access to the Mount Vernon trail, 24-hour desk, security, limousine service, and extra storage rooms.

Properties in Porto Vecchio

A Pedestrian’s Perspective: From the Parkway to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Looking for a peaceful place to travel to get out of the house? All along the George Washington Parkway stretches a path  that goes  all the way to Washington DC. This distance is frequented by people going at their own pace – from the high speed bicyclist commuter to the power walking local. On the way there are places to picnic / barbeque, waters to fish, and open fields for recreation.

An often overlooked detour is available just before Old Town Alexandria. By taking a pedestrian path onto the Woodrow Wilson Bridge there is a path that hugs the road until arriving at the National Harbor.  It starts with a view of a graveyard. Then the panorama delivers a waterfront city skyline juxtapositioned with vehicles driving across the bridge.

Finally after passing the bridge there is a place to sit and enjoy the view, or continue to the National Harbor. Round trip its worth the effort.

Murphy’s Irish Pub in Old Town

Murphy's Harp
The harp is over the hearth at Murphy’s

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub is located in Old Town Alexandria on King Street just a few paces from Washington Street/the George Washington Parkway. Murphy’s serves up Irish classics and pub fare. The prices are reasonable and the food is good.

Murphy’s also has a calendar of events filled with various musical entertainment. Together with Eamon’s and a few other places in Alexandria, Old Town has plenty to warm the Irish heart.

Properties in Old Town Alexandria

$305,000: 1251 E Abingdon Dr #1121

1251 E Abingdon Dr #1121

Beds: 1 / Baths: 1 full baths / Living Area: 591 sqft

Welcome Home to this freshly painted, coveted "treetop unit" with hardwood floors in Riverton!...


$709,900: 924 S Alfred St

924 S Alfred St

Beds: 2 / Baths: 2 full baths / Living Area: 1,200 sqft

Beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 full bath townhome in prime location of Alexandria! Open floor plan with...


$769,000: 901 Princess St

901 Princess St

Beds: 3 / Baths: 1 full, 1 half baths / Living Area: 1,280 sqft

Light-filled Old Town end-unit townhouse is perfect two-level living in an excellent location!...


$275,000: 922 S Washington St #207

922 S Washington St #207

Beds: 1 / Baths: 1 full baths / Living Area: 673 sqft

Fully updated and meticulously maintained unit located in the highly desirable SW Quadrant of...


$299,000: 602 Bashford Ln #2232

602 Bashford Ln #2232

Beds: 1 / Baths: 1 full baths / Living Area: 550 sqft

Top floor unit at the Riverton!! This property has an updated kitchen with stainless steel...


$1,150,000: 504 Queen St

504 Queen St

Beds: 4 / Baths: 3 full baths / Living Area: 2,191 sqft

PRICE REDUCTION! Stunning four level all brick Old Town classic home with double parlor entry...


$269,500: 1700 W Abingdon Dr #302

1700 W Abingdon Dr #302

Beds: 1 / Baths: 1 full baths / Living Area: 683 sqft

Great opportunity to own in historic Old Town location. This one bedroom with built in washer &...


$607,000: 711 Massey Ln #A

711 Massey Ln #A

Beds: 2 / Baths: 2 full baths / Living Area: 1,216 sqft

Sought-after townhouse in Alexandria Old Town Greens, conveniently located near the nation~s...


$699,990: 508 S Henry St

508 S Henry St

Beds: 2 / Baths: 2 full, 1 half baths / Living Area: 1,580 sqft

NEW CARPET being installed on Monday...present a contract by Sunday and pick your choice of...


$2,299,000: 601 N Fairfax St #605

601 N Fairfax St #605

Beds: 2 / Baths: 2 full, 1 half baths / Living Area: 2,427 sqft

Experience true luxury and style, just steps from the water at this Oronoco penthouse in Old...


inside Murphy's
Inside the pub, Murphy’s is almost as dark as Guiness beer.

What is the Potomac Saying to You?

Time to Get Active?

What I have noticed, which I admit didn’t take a lot of thought to realize, about the Potomac River is that it is appreciated.  This appreciation doesn’t just come from my seeing it and saying, “Wow, that’s beautiful.”  It comes from much more and here in the Alexandria are many reasons why.

The closer you get to the water of the Potomac River, the more beautiful things get.  The closer you get to the water, the more expensive the homes and condos are as well, for the most part.  It is easy to see when driving along the George Washington Parkway, which opened in 1932, to understand why this is true.  The drive alone is  a serene route along lush green trees situated just in front of the blue expanse of the Potomac.Path by Potomac

I don’t know what it is saying to you, but when I drive along this roadway on a Saturday morning, it screams – get active.  So many things in this 2015 world bed of us to be more and more lazy.  That’s just not the case with nature.  On a daily basis you can ride along the Parkway and see many people getting out doors and walking or jogging along the paths that stretch the length of the Parkway.

Just as many bikers take advantage of the paths to attain their higher goals in fitness.  Seeing these people out there is a motivating thing indeed and truly makes me feel good inside.  It tells me that the country is still wanting to better themselves.  They just need a bit of help to get there and that’s where the beauty of nature comes in.  I believe there is a lot to be said for jogging or riding a bike next to a beautiful river alongside lush greenery.

The alternatives are boring and non imaginative, not to mention a bit dangerous.   Trying to get this workout alongside the roads surrounded by concrete and hundreds of cars on their way back from picking up the kids from the ball game and dance studio with the kids screaming in their ear only inches from your intended pathway is not what I call fun.

That’s what makes the path by the Potomac and it’s beckoning beauty the way to go.  Take a walk or jog along the river, admire the beauty of nature and the beauty of the homes situated close by.  Doesn’t this look like a wonderful place to live?

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance. I look forward to helping you in any way that I can.

Confederate Memorial In Old Town Alexandria

Alexandria VA
Old Town’s Confederate War Memorial

One of the busiest intersections in Old Town Alexandria Virginia occurs where Prince St. crosses Washington St. This intersection is dominated by a memorial of the U.S. Civil War. Over the years, and on several occasions, drivers have crashed their vehicles into the statue. As a result some folks filed petitions to have the memorial moved. But the statue has not moved and remains a fixture in Alexandria.

The statue remains because of the historical significance of the statue’s location. In 1861, at the place where the statue now stands, the sons and fathers, brothers and men of Alexandria gathered to pick up arms against the Union. After the Civil War, the surviving veterans formed a chapter of the United Confederate Veterans. Together members of the organization commissioned a memorial for their fallen comrades. The statue’s design depicts an unarmed Confederate soldier at Appomattox. The soldier’s head is bowed as he observes the Confederate surrender. The statue was dedicated on May 24th, 1889.

This is how the Confederate Memorial looked in the days before motor vehicles were commonplace.

The George Washington Parkway is one in the same with Washington St. as the Parkway passes through Old Town, and thus the Parkway, and some of Old Town’s heaviest traffic, passes the statue. As originally planned, the Confederate Statue was surrounded by a fence and ornamental gas lamps, but by 1923, motor vehicles and electric lights caused a change in design. The traffic continue to increase on South Washington Street and 1932 when construction of the Parkway was completed, the grounds surrounding the statue were paved over. The pictures below depict the statue as it looked prior to the completion of the GW Parkway at a time when motor vehicles were still relatively uncommon.


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