Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
City of Alexandria Est. 1749
The line traveled from Mount Vernon Estate into Alexandria, up South Royal Street and for a time, South Fairfax Street, to King Street, then west to Commonwealth Avenue and north across Four Mile Run, into Arlington and then Washington. The tracks on King Street once reached across Union Street to the waterfront but in 1910 they ended at Fairfax Street. Between Columbus and Payne Streets, streetcars ran one-way with opposite direction tracks on Cameron Street. This photograph, probably taken in the 1920s, shows a car on North Columbus Street near Cameron Street.
The stops in Alexandria, and beyond in Del Ray which was then located outside the city limits, allowed connections to railroads operated by Southern and Washington & Old Dominion. They also encouraged the growth of Del Ray, St. Elmo, and Rosemont as streetcar suburbs, served by several stops along Commonwealth
Trains ran regular schedules, traveling from Alexandria to Washington about twice an hour between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with less frequent service on Sunday. In 1906, 30 daily trains between Mount Vernon and Washington carried 1.7 million passengers, a number that was likely boosted by the opening of an amusement park along Four Mile Run with its own station.
By 1930, as automobiles gained popularity and roads were improved to accommodate them, service to Mount Vernon was abandoned south of Alexandria to make way for the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Soon the Federal Triangle development in Washington resulted in condemnation of the railway station there, leaving streetcars from Virginia without a Washington station. On April 9, 1932, the electric railway service ended.
Erected by City of Alexandria.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • Roads & Vehicles • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, The City of Alexandria series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1892.
Location. 38° 48.275′ N, 77° 2.612′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. It is in Old Town. Marker is at the intersection of King Street and South Royal Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 326 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Market Square (a few steps from this marker); Site of First Services of the Salvation Army (a few steps from this marker); Gadsby's Tavern Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lynching of Benjamin Thomas (within shouting distance of this marker); Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Law Office of Cohen, Cohen, and Hirschkop (about 300 feet away); The Memorial Fountain (about 300 feet away); The Ramsay House (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 233 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.