Hi there, I’m Matt Douglas, lover of history and Loudoun County local. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Joe Rizzo, Executive Director of the Loudoun Museum, for an in-depth interview on the history of Leesburg, Loudoun’s county seat, and what it’s like to visit this nearly 300-year-old town today.
During our interview, Joe settles once and for all the question of whether or not Leesburg was the capital of the U.S. during the War of 1812, who the town was really named after, discusses the incredibly significant visit of the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825 and much more.
Listen to Joe’s interview at The Educator Podcast: Walking History, then plan a visit to explore Leesburg’s historic streets. Be sure to check out these three not-to-miss sites discussed on the podcast.
- Dodona Manor- the home of George C. Marshall. Just on the outskirts of the main historic King Street district is the house of this former secretary of state and architect of the Marshall Plan following World War II. Tour the house to learn more about this iconic historical figure.
- At Mt Zion Cemetery, find the gravesite of Joseph Waters, an African-American born in Loudoun County who fought for the Union army and returned to Leesburg after the Civil War to become a successful builder, property owner and prominent local citizen.
- And of course, the Loudoun Museum itself. Joe Rizzo and his team have done a masterful job curating this museum dedicated to local Loudoun history, which I can't recommend enough. Be sure to check out the Civil War exhibit, which includes a reproduction of a post-war Oath of Allegiance, and even authentic Leesburg "Dog Money". Also, don’t miss the gravestone and story of John M. McCarty, a local resident who met his demise after an epic and highly public feud with his neighbor and cousin Armistead Mason.
Matt Douglas is a former history teacher, longtime educator and life coach for teens and young adults. He is the creator and host of The Educator Podcast, where as part of his Walking History series he visits famous local historic sights and details their history and what it's like to visit them today. You can hear all the episodes at www.theeducatorpodcast.com. To find more information about him and his work visit www.lifecoachingsd.com.