(caption)View from Pioneer Mill, looking up at the wharf.
Courtesy of Library of Congress.
Pioneer Mill once stood at the end of Duke Street. The photograph shows the many wharves that occupied the blocks where buildings and parks now stand. Warehouses lined the Waterfront interspersed with processing plants for flour and fertilizer, saloons, and restaurants. The Alexandria Waterfront may well have looked similar to this photograph in 1881. In that year F. H. Lungren and R. Blum described Alexandria in Scribner's Monthly:
"Seen from the river, the town presents an appearance at once striking and quaint; - black roofs, garbled, hipped, and gambreled, their shingles, which were laid before the century was born, now warped and moss grown, are pierced by innumerable smoke stacks. These chimneys, tall or short, slender or massive, and of all colors — red, yellow, gray or white — line themselves against the clear blue sky...."