Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Rich History on the Alexandria Waterfront
On September 1, 1880 the Old Dominion Boat Club (ODBC) was organized to combine physical fitness and sport with a social atmosphere. The members built their first clubhouse on May 1, 1881 located on the Strand between Duke and Prince Streets.
On July 4, 1887 the State Regatta, officially called the Virginia Association of Amateur Oarsmen, was held in Alexandria under the patronage and guidance of the ODBC. The feature race was the State gig race for the French Cup and was won on the ODBC crew.
On May 4, 1921, members voted to purchase the Alexandria-Washington Ferry Company property located on King Street for $2,750. After a fire damaged the building, members voted to build a new clubhouse in the spring of 1923 for $14,989.67.
The first basketball team for the Club was organized in 1921. Armory Hall on the 200 block of S. Royal Street was secured for practice and games. This was the beginning of many successful years of ODBC teams playing in the city leagues and winning many championships for the Club.
In 1971, Commodore John Friday arranged for a donated anchor to be transported from the Washington Navy Yard to the courtyard next to the clubhouse on King Street where it was displayed for over 46 years.
On May 15, 1977 the ODBC started its official flag raising ceremony. It was located in the courtyard at the foot of King Street until 2017. City and State representatives each year help raise the flags.
On September 18, 2003 Hurricane Isabel caused extensive damage to the Clubhouse and docks $200,000 was spent to restore the Clubhouse, and ODBC members restored the marina for $650,000.
ODBC celebrated 125 years on the Potomac River with a year-long celebration culminating with a very special Past Presidents' reception followed by a black-tie affair at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. ODBC invited the community to join in on boating-related seminars, themed mixers, a VIP Flag Raising, and other events.
The ODBC membership approved a land swap deal between the City of Alexandria and the ODBC on July 21, 2014 to exchange 1 King Street for 0 Prince Street.
ODBC's third clubhouse was completed in September 2017.
ODBC Members bid fond farewell to the old clubhouse with a series of events including one final raft up.
2017 marked the Grand Opening of the new ODBC clubhouse at its present location, 0 Prince Street and The Strand.
Erected by Old Dominion Boat Club.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Sports • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is May 1, 1881.
Location. 38° 48.172′ N, 77° 2.382′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. It is in Old Town. Marker is on The Strand just south of Prince Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 0 Prince St, 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. ODBC (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named ODBC (here, next to this marker); Waterfront Archaeology (within shouting distance of this marker); Industrialization of the Strand (within shouting distance of this marker); Pioneer Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Raise the White Flag (about 300 feet away); The Domestic Slave Trade (about 300 feet away); The History of the Pineapple (about 400 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 14, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 130 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 14, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.