With the furlough kicking in last week, I have an extra day off each week. While I could make a case for staying in and writing all day, I also don’t want to be cooped up all day. So I thought I would use the time to do onsite research for future stories. I’m a lazy researcher — I’m not going to spend tons of time digging out every fact, but I want to get a feel enough that I can convey that in my story’s setting.
The first place I visited was Old Towne, Alexandria, VA. I selected this location because I did have a story already in mind, though it will also need research in two other areas as well. It was also raining that day, and I thought that would be a good time to see how it would be different.
This is the wharf. It’s quite shocking to see this after reading what it was like in George Washington’s day. This was a major international port. Tobacco was brought here from England and Scotland, and there was a lot of activity. This area was also considered the place to be seen. George Washington was known to frequent the area, especially given the fact that his house was only eight miles away.
Sometime in the 1800s, silt filled in the area, and the trade vanished.
The wharves were also much further back. I always park in the Lee Street parking, and that’s about where the old wharf was located. Sometime around the early 1800s, the city built up the wharves to where they are now. I took this photo from near there, and as you can see, it’s pretty far to the water. You can’t even see the water!
When the Potomac River floods, this area also floods. The water creeps right up this street. Guess it’s trying to regain what man filled in!
I’ll have to go back on another trip and explore some of the sites. But I picked up a lot of information I can use in the story. It’s going to be my first science fiction story, for an anthology that takes military science fiction. Honestly, military and technology … yeah, that would work.