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“a place frozen in time” 5 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 67 things to do in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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.
Baltimore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“a place frozen in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

Two staff were friendly and went on great tour. All the original bottles and medines are intact on the selves. Recorded entire tour and caught bells that weren't ringing at the time of tour.

Visited September 2013
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67 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Bucks County, PA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Surprisingly fascinating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I know a tour of an apothecary museum may not sound very exciting, but even not being a history buff I found it compelling and enjoyed every minute. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave a real sense of the life and times of this fascinating little place. Rather than being a bunch of artifacts arranged nicely in a shiny new building, this shop is preserved as it was in the 1800s, including jars and canisters with the original contents inside and handwritten labels. We saw bloodletting instruments, handwritten documents, old measuring/pill-making devices, and many other interesting items. Well worth the time and price.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Everyone should experience once”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

What a terrific museum, packed with history and artifacts. The tour guide was great trying hard to tell us everything in 30 mins. My only complaint is 30 mins is just too short. I was only able to look at half of what was available to see. It doesn't leave anytime to look at all the jars and boxes of stuff labeled with various herbs. I found it fascinating but very rushed. Wish I could have walked back through and reexamined everything.

Visited September 2013
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2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“This is no ordinary Time Capsule!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

If you visit no other museums, see this one. Wonderful "Harry Potter" style room. Where Harry would have purchased his wand. Katie is VERY knowledgable about the history.

Visited July 2013
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San Jose, California
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
73 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
“Time Capsule of the Apothecary Art”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Imagine walking into a drug store where you can get a sleeping potion or aphrodesiac made to order. (No kidding, one of the drawers in the upstairs was labeled "Aphrodesiac.") This museum is actually better described as a place where time has stood still. It stopped in the 1930's, so remember that some of the ambiance will reflect later times. This is the sort of place where my father's older brother, who became a pharmacist in 1900, might have worked. The downstairs has patent medicines and prescriptions for the famous (like Robert E. Lee) on display, but the upstairs is the most intriguing, a veritable Hogwarts of intriguing natural (?!!) ingredients. No eye of newt, but you can find just about everything else. Step into the 18th century and wonder how our ancestors managed to survive some of these "cures." Still, some of the ingredients are still used in our modern medicines, and this was the forerunner to the compounding pharmacy.
A fascinating tour, though I might like some interpretive displays outside of the time capsule that is the museum, to put it all into perspective. Overall, though, it was a great look at period medicine and materia medica.

Visited June 2013
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