If you can’t wait to see your favorite characters from PBS’ Mercy Street on-screen again, we’ve got you covered. This fall, some of the cast members and producers of Mercy Street toured Alexandria with us, which you can see in the videos below. With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a trip to the city that inspired the series and retrace the steps of the stars of Mercy Street in Alexandria. Keep reading to see what the cast thought about our city! (spoiler alert: they thought it was “extraordinary”)
Carlyle House Museum
In this video, the cast tours Carlyle House, which was where the real Green family lived and is now a museum. Check out the video to see what Hannah James, who plays Emma Green in Mercy Street, had to say about what it felt like to be in the real Emma Green’s home. While filming Mercy Street in the spring of 2015, actor L. Scott Caldwell visited Carlyle House to learn more about the context for her character Belinda Gibson, who works for the Green family in the series. Caldwell said of her visit to Alexandria:
“Standing there, being in that space, was just like an otherworldly experience. In Richmond [filming location], we’re approximately a place. But to see the actual bricks and mortar…it’s everything.” -PBS’ Mercy Street Actor L. Scott Caldwell
You can visit the Carlyle House, too, and explore their exhibit Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital or take an exclusive tour with Footsteps to the Past, Walking Behind the Scenes at the Mansion House.
Top: Actor L. Scott Caldwell visits the Carlyle House exhibit. Bottom: Left, Mercy Street’s Emma Green in her home in the PBS series (Antony Platt/PBS). Right: Actor Hannah James in the real Emma Green’s home (M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria).
The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
Here, the cast tours the apothecary museum, where they are in awe of how similar it is the the set of Mercy Street. The apothecary was open during the Civil War, and served customers like the real Green family in the 1800’s. In this video, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Tara Summers discuss which one of their characters, nurses Mary Phinney and Anne Hastings, would have been the bigger expert if shopping at the apothecary–watch to find out who won! You can visit the museum, which transports you back to the era of Mercy Street, and explore the Green Family Exhibit.
Hannah James, Tara Summers and Mary Elizabeth Winstead visit the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary in Alexandria. All three play nurses on PBS’ Mercy Street, who in real life would have used supplies purchased here. (M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria)
Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial
Finally, the cast visits the Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial, which from 1864-1869 served as the burial place for about 1,800 African Americans. The memorial is open to the public and features moving murals, detailed interpretive panels and sculptures created by local and national artists. In this video, the cast learns about Alexandria’s African American history during the time of Mercy Street from Audrey Davis, Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum. Davis serves as a historical consultant and official blogger for PBS’ Mercy Street. You can visit the Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial as well as the Alexandria Black History Museum to see the Journey to Be Free exhibit.
Mercy Street Actor L. Scott Caldwell visits the Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial. (M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria)
For an overview of the cast’s visit to Alexandria, check out this highlight video below:
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Header Image: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria