This painting is of a crisp fall morning at the Old Town Farmers Market in Alexandria, Virginia. The view is of a busy corner of King Street and North Royal Street, next to Market Square Plaza, with the steeple from Alexandria City Hall rising high in the background to kiss the partly sunny sky. Fine art prints of this Old Town Alexandria painting are available for purchase here.
The City of Alexandria says that the Old Town Farmers Market “is the oldest farmers’ market in the country held continuously at the same site” and that “George Washington sent his produce from Mount Vernon” to be sold there. Wow. I wonder if George Washington ever imagined that I’d be standing there munching on some sort of delicious stuffed croissant from a vendor selling foods from the country of Georgia, some 250 years later? Probably not!
In another article that I found published by the Office of Historic Alexandria, it is said that Market Square was established only a few years after Alexandria was founded in 1749. Further information from this article states that:
“Originally, Market Square was little more than a scruffy field where housewares, foodstuffs, animals and farm products could be sold to local townspeople or those coming to Alexandria from its rural hinterlands. The area was also used for other purposes, such as the sale of African slaves and the mustering of militias. By the late 18th century, the square started to fill with permanent structures and buildings providing a home for prospering commercial sellers, taverns and warehouses.”
I very much enjoy a leisurely weekend visit to Old Town Alexandria, a city that I lived in for a couple of years, once upon a time. It’s interesting to learn about its history, and especially to consider the trauma that took place there in the past, and its lingering effects on the collective consciousness of all of us.