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Old Town Hosting Dinner and History Night In Memory of the ‘Female Stranger’

Port City Brewing and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum are gearing up to host a special night in memory of the mysterious woman who once perished on the shores of Alexandria.

The two local institutions are pairing up to for an event for “foodies and history nerds alike,” per the city’s website. Attendees can learn about the story of a woman who arrived sick on a ship in 1816 and whose husband swore the local doctor to secrecy about their identity — only inscribing “Female Stranger” on her gravestone after she died in Gadsby’s Tavern on October 14, 1816.

On Monday, October 14, Gadsby’s Tavern Restaurant at 138 N. Royal Street will host people interested in hearing the tale over a four-course dinner beginning 7 p.m.

The dinner event will feature the Port City Brewing’s dark “Long Black Veil.” The beer first debuted in 2015 and the brewery said it was “inspired” by the veil worn by the woman and the enduring questions about her real identity.

Tickets to the event cost $85 each and can be ordered online. Attendees must be 21 years or older.

In the meantime, spooky spiritualists and skeptics can check out the historic grave for themselves in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Cemetery. A part of the long inscription reads:

To the memory of the Female Stranger, whose mortal sufferings terminated on the 14th day of October, 1816. Aged 23 years, and 8 months. This stone was placed by her disconsolate husband in whose arms she sighed out her last breath, and who under God did his utmost even to soothe the cold dead ear of death.

Two hundred years after death, visitors still leave flowers on the mystery woman’s grave stone, while some say she still haunts the tavern.

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