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“Disappointed asked to leave as they were doing a tour” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
105-107 S. Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA
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Ranked #5 of 39 Attractions in Alexandria
Type: Museums, History Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The Apothecary served local customers, including the Washingtons and Robert E. Lee, between 1792 and 1933. The shop was transformed into a museum shortly after its closing and visitors can still view the original ingredients, products, and documents left behind by this 141-year-old family business.
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Disappointed asked to leave as they were doing a tour”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

4 of us arrived in the shop and before we could look around what was on sale we were asked to leave as the lady wanted to take a couple on a tour of the apothecary next door through an archway and needed to lock the door to do it. All it would have taken was 5 minutes of their time for us to look around. The place was recommended by both Gadsbys tavern and the visitors centre but the staff were too busy to allow visitors spend more than 10 seconds in the gift shop. We came all the way from the UK, it isn't like we can pop back next week.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz W, Manager at Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Thank you for coming all the way from the UK to visit Historic Alexandria! We are glad you enjoyed our sites while here + am sorry you were disappointed with your experience at the Apothecary Museum. Due to our commitment to keeping a regular tour schedule, our staff is not able to leave the museum shop unattended while starting a tour. This sometimes leads to a shortened shop visit for guests not interested in a tour + we are sorry for that. We hope you understand + we look forward to welcoming you to Alexandria in the future.
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50 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Bluffton, Ohio
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Wonderful History”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Many items well preserved and the history was interesting, but overall not a great variety of apothecary items. Everything was to have been consistent with that time period and that would have certainly limited their inventory. Any pharmacist should make this a must.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Where Martha Washington got her castor oil”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

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.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middlebury, Vermont
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Very Unusual”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We thought this place was very cool. It's an 18th Century apothecary that barely changed from the time it opened until it closed its doors in the 1930s. The retail section downstairs is all as it was, including a handwritten order from Martha Washington. Upstairs, the company ran a large mail order business for their own products. The medicinal ingredients are still in their storage containers, along with pill rollers, etc. Very interesting. We had an engaging woman guide us around. She knew her stuff. The young director is doing a good job, too.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Amazing Find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We stumbled onto this place as we were paying for parking. My partner thought we should go inside, and I am quite glad we did. This old pharmacy is the same as it was 100 years ago. As a matter of fact, it was sealed up and kept exactly the same as it was left in 1933 (I believe). The guide was so knowledgeable and answered all the questions we had. I won't spoil it for you, but the second floor is amazing! There's even a registry that lists Robert E Lee and Martha Washington as clients! Definitely make a stop here for a different kind of experience.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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