As a general rule, I avoid museum tours like the plaque. But this wonderful gem of an 18th century apothecary is the exception that proves the rule. Walking through old Town, the modest storefront at 105-107 South Fairfax Street has limited hours so check the official Alexandria government web site http://alexandriava.gov/historic/apothecary/default.aspx?id=36940
The cost of the docent guided 30 minute tour is only $5. What is amazing is how the owner had to walk away from his business during the Depression and just locked everything up. The four story warehouse just sat there until the City took it over. The first floor is just full of curious bottles but after the gift shop cashier turns into your tour guide, you get to cross of the roped area and go upstairs also. There you can see stuff like A written request from Martha Washington for some castor oil before she died. Even more intriguing are drawers labelled with exotic concoctions like ""Dragon's Blood"! - but they are out of stock of it for the last hundred years. Regular stuff for the 18th century is there like opium, mercury and sulfur
Truly a fascinating and informative tool with all kinds of cool medical tidbits. Take a walk back in time and see what Harry Potter would have seen.