Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The People of Potomac Yard
City of Alexandria Est. 1749
Working at the Yard. Employees of Potomac Yard described themselves as being a close-knit group. Workers often lived in the same neighborhoods, raised their children together, and worked with family members. The work was stable and it was, for many years, the single largest employer in Alexandria. Often, multiple generations of families worked at the Yard. Young people
The Del Ray and St. Elmo neighborhoods grew along with the Yard’s prosperity. Constructed in 1894 as planned subdivisions, they were built to take advantage of existing commuter railroads and trolleys that led into Washington, D.C. Del Ray and St. Elmo, however, did not flourish until the 1910s and 1920s when a combination of Potomac Yard workers and federal employees began moving to the area.
“It was a great life, a great life. I had one of the best jobs in the country, and certainly the best railroad job in the country. It was one interesting and challenging career.” —Jack McGinley, Last Superintendent of Potomac Yard
Erected by City of Alexandria. (Marker Number Panel-4.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, The City of Alexandria series list.
Location. 38° 49.579′ N, 77° 2.828′ W. Marker is in Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Potomac Avenue and East Custis Avenue, on the right on Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Building Potomac Yard (approx. ¼ mile away); Crossroads of Transportation (approx. ¼ mile away); The Rail Yard Hump (approx. ¼ mile away); Potomac Yard in Transition (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Alexanders & Agriculture (approx. 0.4 miles away); Virginia's First Highways (approx. half a mile away); Corporal Charles William Hill (approx. half a mile away); The Alexandria Almshouse (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Potomac Yard.
More about this marker. The marker has a number of photographs of Potomac Yard workers and a large map showing the approximate location of Potomac Yard. The map’s legend reads, “Drawn in 1900, this map shows the Del Ray and St. Elmo neighborhoods west of Route 1 and the properties that would soon become Potomac Yard.” It is a portion of a map titled “Map of Alexandria County, Virginia” from the Library of Congress.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 19, 2016, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 237 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on March 30, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 19, 2016, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.