It wasn't until after we got home that I decided I really wanted to know the history of the park. Voila! Here's an article from the Alexandria Library for your reading pleasure. It appears that the park (which, in the whole history of Alexandria, hasn't been a park all that long) got its name from a windmill constructed in 1843 to provide water for local farmers and drinking water for city residents. Since then, the area has enjoyed a rather colorful, and sometimes rather unsavory, history - from Civil War brothels and settlements of railroad workers in the 1860s and 1870s to fancy summer promenades of the city's most fashionable in the 1890s. In the twentieth century, the park witnessed festivals and celebrations, such as welcoming Charles Lindbergh to Washington, DC after his famous solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, before opening as a public park and playground at mid-century. It's really quite a lovely park and clearly loved by its neighbors. We'll be back, sooner rather than later, I suppose.
|It didn't occur to me while we were at Windmill Hill Park to take pictures of the park itself, but here's one from the floating dock at Shipyard Park along the Potomac.|
|There are eight turtles on that floating log. "Can you see the turtles, Diggory? Count them. One, two, three..." Yep, that's how I talk now.|
|The bulkhead surrounding what was once a small shipyard is off limits, surrounded by a rope fence so tiny humans are at least momentarily deterred from getting too close to the water. The rusty gates and signs of decay are rather picturesque.|