People often ask how I learned about Julia Wilbur and came to write a biography about her and Civil War Alexandria.
It’s thanks to Alexandria Archaeology, within the city’s Office of Historic Alexandria, and the archaeologist at the time, Pam Cressey. When I was looking to volunteer back in 2011, Pam asked me to transcribe microfilmed pages of Wilbur’s diary. I got hooked. Alexandria Archaeology continued to boost my work.
Many years later, I am paying it forward (or backward, or both) as president of Friends of Alexandria Archaeology, or FOAA (pronounced Foe-uh) through December 2019. We are a nonprofit group that raises money, provides volunteers, sponsors events, and otherwise supports a wonderful, stretched-too-thin staff.
Saturday night we held our annual volunteer appreciation party. A bit of a ceremony attended by Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and City Council members John Chapman, Amy Jackson, and Del Pepper., an unveiling of a significant work-in-progress and, of course, a great spread of refreshments.
This model was unveiled last week. An expert at Texas A&M placed the timbers found under the Alexandria waterfront within a model of were they once fit. Photo by C. Spinner.
As an all-volunteer group, we have had our ups and downs, but the party on Saturday night was a nice way to celebrate and look ahead.
Next up in February: marching in the city’s George Washington parade on the 18th and a presentation by one of the archaeologists on the 28th.