I print the tour and take it with me. It’s too long for one day, especially for anyone who
intends to go inside and visit the 33 sites listed, plus the other 13 "steps off the
tour" suggestions. I don’t intend to walk this route from beginning to end, but save it
until the last day and use it to fill in where our other tours have neglected to go. On
Monday, we’re glad we have it.
We have only 4 hours before we leave for the airport. We walk down Arch Street to
Betsy Ross House, stop number 24 on The Constitutional. Then we work our way
backward to stops 23-20: Elfreth’s Alley, Christ Church, B. Free Franklin Post Office,
and Franklin Court. These are all either on Market Street or north of it in the eastern
section of the old city. If you find that there is a section of the historic center you haven’t
explored, this is probably it.
The distance between these sites is negligible. We spend little time walking between
them and almost all our time touring--at the last minute, when we don’t usually make
good decisions in haste. We have time for the 40-minute headphone tour at Betsy
Ross House. There is even time to sit in the courtyard here and watch two
funny British actors dueling and telling jokes. Here’s one.
"You know, the Quakers in this colony outlawed everything that is fun! Yes, drinking,
gambling, dancing, spitting on the sidewalk--all against the law. Just to show you what I
mean, look at opera. It’s legal. Not fun!"
It helps to envision the fellows immediately resuming their raucous dueling after each
I don’t know how often they "play" here, but they are delightful and gather a large crowd
in the charming outdoor spot with shade trees surrounded by brick wall and furnished
with benches and chairs.
Elfreths Alley is a short walk. We find the museum here at 126, but it isn’t
open. Perhaps the attendant takes a late lunch. The narrow block with 33 houses is the
oldest continuously inhabited street in the United States. At Bladen Court, a hidden
courtyard, signs indicate political debate occurred here; a spinning porch overlooks
A narrow row house is for sale: $470,000.
At Christ Church, we sit in a pew to hear the guide’s talk and look for important
persons buried in the floor and outside in the gardens. A storyteller’s bench is
outside, and we listen to him, too.
At Franklin Court, we watch the printer inking plates as he discusses Ben’s
business and the laborious job of printing in colonial times. His finished page is
We examine Franklin’s fonts, all here, and explore the rest of the site.
We have time for a leisurely dinner at Reading Market. Not bad for four hours
before an airport run--and I didn’t have to plan them!
Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
San Jose, California
June 26, 2010
From journal Philadelphia June 11-13, 2010
, West Virginia
August 20, 2005
From journal Dead Guides Walking