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Port City brings back ale celebrating Alexandria’s most iconic mystery

The grave of the mysterious Female Stranger (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated 6 p.m.) Who was the female stranger?

It’s a question that’s haunted Alexandria since 1816, when a sick woman arrived by ship and died on Oct. 14, and her husband swore the local doctor to secrecy. Her grave in St. Paul’s Cemetery bears no name but tells the story of her passing.

The mystery is a local legend in Alexandria and the inspiration for a local Port City Ale that returns every year near the anniversary of her death.

Today, visitors still leave flowers at her grave and it’s rumored that she haunts Gadsby’s Tavern. There’s endless speculation about who the Female Stranger was, including suggestions that she may have been Theodosia Burr.

The ale, Long Black Veil, first debuted back in 2014. The 7.5 ABV pale ale is being released this Friday, Oct. 13.