The Greatest History Tour Known to Mankind
This walking tour covers many facets of early Philadelphia culture. On this tour we will have a ball and learn all at the same time!
Built in 1786 by influential wine importer Henry Hill, the Physick House is a spacious city dwelling that was once inhabited by Dr. Philip Syng Physick, hailed as the father of American surgery. Though the house was once an actual residence, it now serves as a museum for Dr. Physick’s legacy, as well as for numerous surgical instruments.
The origins of this unique monument date back to the early 1950s, when the Washington Square Planning Committee of Philadelphia discussed the creation of a monument to George Washington. After months of discussion, the committee decided to incorporate the image of Washington into a tribute to all of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War. The monument was named the “Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier” and designed by Edwin Brumbaugh.
Opened in the spring of 2017, Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution takes visitors on a unique audio and visual experience through the nation’s formative struggle. The museum offers numerous immersive exhibits that include life-like figures, video and audio presentations, historic artifacts and primary documents and was in the planning stages for 20 years. The 118,000 square-foot museum was designed by Robert A. M. Stern and is properly located near the birthplace of the Constitution, near the First Bank of the United States and a few blocks from Independence Hall. The museum is open daily and offers regular and timed tickets to alleviate wait times during peak hours.
Independence Hall is considered the birthplace of the United States. It was here that both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. It served as the first capitol building for the United States but was originally built to serve as the state house for Pennsylvania. It is a part of Independence National Historical Park which also includes the Liberty Bell Center and the Benjamin Franklin Museum, along with a visitors center that includes theaters, exhibits, and a gift shop. Independence National Historical Park is a great place to spend a day learning all about the roots of American history. Admission is by tour only.
The Betsy Ross House is a historic home in Philadelphia alleged to be the site where the first American flag was created. The Arch Street residence was built around 1740, and during the 1770s it was home to local upholsterer Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross. According to popular legend, Ross was asked to sew the first Stars and Stripes flag in 1777. Most scholars are highly doubtful that Betsy Ross actually made the first American flag; the story did not emerge until nearly a century later. Today the house has been restored and preserved as a museum. It is open to the public for tours, and contains a large collection of artifacts, documents, and memorabilia relating to both Betsy Ross and the story of her sewing the first flag.
Tucked away in Philadelphia’s Old City there exists a small alley that gives visitors a glimpse of a working class, 18th century neighborhood. Elfreth’s Alley, known as the nation’s oldest residential street, is a narrow thoroughfare with 32 small (by contemporary standards) residences built between 1728 and 1836 in the Federal or Georgian architectural style. It began as a cart path in 1702 that permitted the city’s residents easy access to the docks. It is now, in a sense, a living history museum that is still home to Philadelphians. The museum is located in two row houses that were built in the mid-18th century and they now serve as a restored period home. Elfreth’s Alley was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Established in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first museum in the United States created and funded by a local government to help convey the history and heritage of African Americans to United States citizens. The museum covers the period from slavery to civil rights with over 750,000 artifacts and four galleries. Each gallery contains a variety of exhibits that interpret the museum's collection, selecting items from the collection and placing their history within the larger narrative of the African American experience. The museum also offers a variety of special thematic exhibits throughout the year, to ensure that every visit provides a new learning experience. A huge plus for young children visiting the museum is the "Children's Corner", an interactive exhibit where children explore the lives of young African American children.
This marker, erected in 2009 by Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, was placed to show the spot where Milton Hershey opened his first candy store. Mr. Hershey opened his first candy business here on June 1, 1876, at just eighteen years of age. He did not only sell candy here, he also sold an array of fruits, nuts, and ice cream. At first this store was profitable, but eventually due to credit issues the store closed. It was only after this first failure that he opened the Lancaster Caramel Company and then Hershey's Chocolate Company as a subsidiary of that.
Founded in 1824 as the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, the Franklin Institute is one of the oldest centers dedicated to science education and progress in the United States. In the Institute’s founding days, it offered classes on mechanics, engineering, and other such fields of scientific study in order to broaden people’s understanding of and engagement in the sciences. After a century of activity, the Institute became a museum in 1934 in order to expand its vision of promoting the sciences. Today, the Institute still serves that goal as a museum, reaching out to those who wish to learn through exploring exhibits, attending classes, and much more. Additionally, one may find in the museum’s rotunda the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, which sports a 20-foot-tall marble statue of the scientist and Founding Father.