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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Eisenhower East in Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Duke Street Tanyard

Alexandria Heritage Trail

 
 
The Duke Street Tanyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
1. The Duke Street Tanyard Marker
Inscription.  Peter Wise, a city councilman and tanner, established the Duke Street Tanyard in 1797. The Business was situated near the stone bridge on the east bank of Hooff's Run by West End Village. The tannery's ownership and name changed many times; Quakers operated the large tannery from 1812 until it was destroyed by fire in 1853.

West End, Alexandria's first suburb, was a processing center for cattle, which were brought here for slaughter and butchering. The hides were then taken to the tannery to be processed into leather by soaking them in solutions of lime, tree bark, and animal dung. The tanned hides were curried by oiling, scrapping, and pounding and then made into saddles, harness and boots.

"The Tannery was located in what was once called Spring Gardens Farm just "beyond the [town's] Corporation limits and... of course, exempt from taxation" along a major commercial artery, Little River Turnpike." — Alexandria Gazette, 1844.

Archaeological excavations were conducted here in 2000, prior to construction. It was discovered that the remains of the tanyard were destroyed during the 20th century. Most
The Duke Street Tanyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
2. The Duke Street Tanyard Marker
of the original soil had been removed, and later, fill soils were brought in to level the property. However, in the area where a brick house once stood, archaeologists discovered artifacts dating to the nineteenth century — small reminders of the families of the tanners that once lived on this site.
 
Erected by Th Marriott Corporation in cooperation with Alexandria Museum Office of Historic Alexandria.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, The City of Alexandria series list.
 
Location. 38° 48.234′ N, 77° 3.481′ W. Marker is in Eisenhower East in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Duke Street (Virginia Route 236) and Daingerfield Road, on the right when traveling east. Marker is in a small park just west of The Marriott Residence Inn along Hooff's Run. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1456 Duke 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. The West End (within shouting distance of this marker); Hooff's Run Bridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); African American Heritage Memorial (about 600 feet away); ASIS International 9/11 Memorial
Civil War View image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
3. Civil War View
A Civil War view from the Orange & Alexandria roundhouse northwest toward West End, where the tannery was located. The large white building with chimneys, once occupied by slave dealers, was situated on Duke Street, called Little River Turnpike in West End.
Close-up of photo on marker
National Archives
(about 700 feet away); A National Cemetery System (about 800 feet away); "Pursuers of Booth the Assassin" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shiloh Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Honor of Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice (approx. 0.2 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Alexandria Heritage Trail. (Submitted on March 21, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
 
Overhead View of a Tannery image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
4. Overhead View of a Tannery
Overhead view of a tannery with (left to right) washing station on a river, vats for soaking in lime, and tanning vats in a yard. The Duke Street Tanyard was larger and included four acres and more than 100 vats.
Close-up of image on marker
Diderot Pictorial Encyclopedia, Dover, 1993
The Marriott Residence Inn image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
5. The Marriott Residence Inn
on the site of the West End Tanyard.
Marriott Resdence Inn image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
6. Marriott Resdence Inn
1456 Duke Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 21, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,007 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 21, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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May. 29, 2020