Welcome to Gravestone Stories: Unearthing Alexandria’s Hidden Narratives

Discover Alexandria’s Most Comprehensive History at the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex – Our City’s Best-kept Secret!

Experience engaging Alexandria history tours with Gravestone Stories. Our expert guides offer a unique journey through Alexandria’s past, from 1749 to today, exploring the city’s rich heritage within the fascinating Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex.

In this 1863 colored lithograph titled “Birds Eye View of Alexandria, Va.” by Charles Magnus, the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex can be located in the image. To find it, first identify the prominent railroad roundhouse in the upper left quadrant of the picture. The cemetery complex is situated just above and slightly to the left of this structure, nestled below a line of trees. This historical piece is part of the Library of Congress collection.
The second image shows an enlarged view of the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, as seen in the Magnus map. The area is highlighted with a red square, clearly indicating its location within the broader landscape of 19th-century Alexandria.

This unique outdoor museum comprises thirteen separate cemeteries, each with its own rich history. Unlike typical Old Town walks, our Alexandria history tours provide a comprehensive exploration of the city’s growth and the diverse historical figures who shaped it.

What You’ll Experience:

  • Trace Alexandria’s growth from a colonial port to a vibrant modern city
  • Meet a diverse array of historical figures who shaped Alexandria and the nation
  • Uncover stories often overlooked in traditional tours through interactive exploration of primary sources
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A group of participants on an Alexandria history tour gathers in the Alexandria National Cemetery, located within the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, to learn about the Union soldiers buried there who died in the Civil War.

Why Choose Our Alexandria History Tours

  • Authentic historical narratives focusing on real stories and documented history
  • Tours led by expert historian guides who are published authors and renowned local historians
  • Unique cemetery perspective that uncovers history through the stories of those who shaped Alexandria

Expert Guides for Your Alexandria History Tour

  • Our guides are renowned experts in Alexandria’s history
  • They are published authorssought-after lecturers, and active members of various history communities
  • They bring unparalleled expertise and enthusiasm to every tour
  • With their deep knowledge and continuous research, our guides offer insights you won’t find anywhere else
  • They bring Alexandria’s rich history to life in ways that go far beyond typical tours

Specialized Alexandria History Tours

  • Civil War Tour: Uncover Alexandria’s role in the Civil War through the stories of key figures
  • Black History Tour: Journey from the antebellum era through the civil rights movement
  • Modern America Tour: Explore captivating 20th-century stories of local figures
  • Alexandria Firefighters Tour: Discover the heroic history of Alexandria’s firefighters and historic fire stations
  • Early Alexandria Tour: Meet the Founding Fathers, Patriots, and Pioneers who shaped the city and nation

Historical Figures on Our Alexandria Tours

Explore over 200 notable individuals buried in Alexandria’s cemeteries, including:

  • Wilmer McLean’s improbable witness to both the first and last battles of the Civil War
  • The overlooked 1814 Potomac River naval battle that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner”
  • Dennis Ramsay’s historic first use of “Mr. President” for George Washington
  • The daring 1848 slave escape attempt aboard the schooner “The Pearl”
  • Alexandria’s connection to the tragic aftermath of Little Bighorn
  • The inspiring journey of T.C. Williams High School’s “Remember the Titans” football team
  • The forgotten “Black Diamond” steamship disaster on the Potomac River
  • The courageous United States Colored Troops (USCTs) who fought for freedom and equality

These captivating stories are just a glimpse of what you’ll discover on our Alexandria history tours. Join us to uncover over 200 fascinating narratives that bring our city’s past to life, or access their mini-bios below.

Plan Your Visit: Practical Information for an Excellent Tour

  • Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Adult tickets: $30 (discounts available for youth and groups).
  • Comfortable walking shoes recommended.
  • No restrooms in the cemetery complex.
  • Tours go on rain or shine – dress for the weather.
  • Available for both public and private bookings.
Cazenove Family Plot with obelisks at Alexandria's Presbyterian Cemetery, a highlight of Alexandria history tours.
The Cazenove Family Plot, filled with obelisks, is part of The Presbyterian Cemetery within Alexandria, Virginia’s Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex. The monuments create an atmosphere, inviting reflection on the lives and legacies of this 19th-century family.

What Visitors Say About Our Alexandria History Tours

As featured by Visit Alexandria Now, the Alexandria Visitor’s Center, and The Zebra. Our tours are consistently ranked as the best Alexandria history experience by fellow guides and visitors alike.

Explore More: Enhance Your Alexandria History Tour Experience

Are you curious to dive deeper into Alexandria’s rich history? These resources offer additional insights and information to complement your tour experience:

Alexandria National Cemetery gravestones are decorated with flags and flowers, a moving site on Alexandria history tours.
American flags and flowers are placed next to gravestones in the Alexandria National Cemetery, a tradition observed each Memorial Day Saturday to honor the sacrifices made by those who served the country.

Our Alexandria history tours offer a unique look at the city’s past. We invite you to join us and be part of Alexandria’s story. Come explore with us!

Contact Us About Alexandria History Tours

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