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WATCH: Ice Ice Baby: This obscure Alexandria monument celebrates all things frozen
Imagine wanting iced tea and having to fish for it!
It’s an obscure Alexandria monument dedicated to one of the premier luxuries of the 18th and 19th centuries — cold, hard ice!
Alexandria’s Historic Ice Well, located at the corner of North Royal Street in Old Town, is right next to Gadsby’s Tavern. Although it’s technically underground, you can peek inside if you go down a short set of hidden stairs around the corner from the restaurant.
Back in 1792 when the ice well opened, Old Town was a part of D.C., and Gadsby’s was known as the City Hotel — lodgings for high-rollers and famous figures, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Ice was brought in through a secret tunnel that ran underneath the hotel, after blocks of it were cut directly from the Potomac River, and lowered into the well. In the 18th century, ice was considered a rare luxury, reserved for high society — quite different from rummaging through your freezer today!
WTOP’s Matt Kaufax decided to head to Old Town to check out the ice well, and catch up with some familiar friends along the way. Check out the video of his latest adventure.
Courtesy of WTOP, February 8, 2024
WATCH: Making a fountain out of a cannon: This obscure Old Town Alexandria monument hides in plain sight
In today’s edition of “Matt About Town,” WTOP’s Matt Kaufax kicks off 2024 with a bang at Old Town Alexandria’s Cannon Fountain.
Urban legend says the fountain was fashioned out of a cannon from a warship in the army of British Gen. Edward Braddock, which was left behind after the American Revolution and found by an Alexandria resident … right in their backyard!
Also known as Braddock’s Fountain, Old Town’s Cannon Fountain was initially meant to be a public drinking resource, except it wasn’t just meant for humans.
Check out Matt’s video about this wacky relic, and find out how a public investment turned into quite the public nuisance.
Courtesy of WTOP, January 11, 2024
WATCH: The Spite House
Come and explore Old Town Alexandria’s most miniature mansion — built purely out of spite.
It’s the most miniature mansion in historic Alexandria, Virginia, and its backstory explores the creative and obscure side of a neighborly grudge.
In today’s edition of “Matt About Town,” WTOP’s Matt Kaufax visits the “Spite House” in historic Old Town Alexandria to tell the story of a fed up brickmaker, horse-drawn carriage rides and expensive real estate.
Courtesy of WTOP, December 19, 2023