My grandfather sent my grandmother this card in 1907 from Philadelphia. My grandmother had gone home to her parent's house in Henderson NC. He writes "9/2/07 Although this is a holiday [Labor Day] came in from Berwyn to see what was doing & will write later in the day.
The front of the card calls Betsy Ross's house
THE WORLD'S MOST NOTED DWELLING
Purchased (clear) Dec. 14th, 1905
every part of the
Globe on land and
sea, irrespective of
age, sex or
BETSY ROSS HOME
Birthplace of the U.S.Flag
239 Arch Street, Phila., PA.
The flag has the date June 14th, 1777 under it
The text under the flag says:
The first American Flag was
made by my Great-grand
mother Betsy Ross at 239 Arch Ln.
Philadelphia Pa- Copy made by
me. I presented to Charles Weisgerber
of the Sons of the Revolution and
Promoter in saving the house
Ass. Superintendent of
Sandy M Wilson
On the website of the Betsy Ross house, it says
By the late 19th century most of the other colonial-era buildings that once stood on this block of Arch Street had been torn down and replaced with large industrial buildings and warehouses. Many people feared that Betsy's home would meet the same fate.
In 1898, a group of concerned citizens established the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association to raise money to purchase the house from the Munds, restore it, and open it as a public museum in honor of Betsy Ross and our first flag.
Charles Weisgerber was one of the founding members of the Memorial Association. In 1892 he painted Birth of Our Nation's Flag, a 9' x 12' painting that depicts Betsy Ross presenting the first American Flag to George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross.
To raise the money to purchase the house, members of the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association sold lifetime memberships to the organization for 10 cents. Each donor received a membership certificate imprinted with an image of Birth of Our Nation's Flag. Individuals were encouraged to form "clubs" of 30 members. The person who formed the club would receive a ten-color chromolithograph of the Weisgerber painting, suitable for framing, in addition to certificates for each club member.
Weisgerber moved his family into the home in 1898 and immediately opened two rooms to the public.
Audio tours include admission to the house.
Popular tradition says that the first American flag was conceived and made by a Quaker lady named Elizabeth (Betsy).
The house where she lived with another widow, after her husband death, was preserved, and you may visit both the house and the shop.
It is believed that Betsy Ross lived here from 1773 to 1785, and it was in this house she created the first flag of the United States. I love historic homes, and it was very interesting to be able to walk through one of this age (build around 1740) and historical importance.
Adult admissions are: $4 for the self-guided tour & $6 for the audio tour (which I highly recommend). There were no crowds when I went (June 2011) and it took me about 30 minutes to complete the tour of the house. Photography is not allowed inside the house.
Betsy Ross and her third (and last) husband, John Claypoole, are buried in the courtyard adjacent to the house.
Betsy Ross house (pic 1) is where Betsy and John Ross lived from 1773 to 1786. Betsy sewed the first American flag here (1776) and probably that’s why you pay a ticket to see a house which is one of the city’s major attractions!
There are only some rooms to see (photography isn’t allowed) but the signs will give some information about Betsy’s life, how she started until her retirement at the age of 76 due to rapidly failing vision (after over 50 years in her trade). She died at the age of 86, by the way the life expectancy rate for Colonial Americans is often misunderstood, according an info sign in the museum this happens because one in ten infants born in the 18th century didn’t live to the age of one, however, if you lived over 21 you’d live to see your 60th.
At the last room there is a girl that plays the role of Betsy (pic 3), you can see her at work and talk to her, ask question, how she’s still alive after 200 years and things like that. I did and hopefully she laughed. :)
The entrance fee is $3, the museum is open daily 10.00-17.00. It supposed to get packed by visitors (and the house is really small) but I was alone all the way.
On my way out I noticed some colonial actors at the courtyard but I found the fake cats more interesting (pic 4)
The Betsy Ross House is one of Philadelphia's biggest tourist attractions. Reputedly the house that Betsy Ross lived in when she sewed the first US flag, it's easy to see why despite it being a matter of oral conjecture than easily proved fact. That said, thoughtfully restored and period furnished colonial house makes for an interesting museum and the story of Betsy Ross' sewing exploits provided a much needed inspiration for girls growing up with a history of the American Revolution full of only men.
Dating back to the mid-1700s, the house is fairly ordinary aside from its most famous dweller though it does stand out now that all its neighbors have gone the way of the wrecking ball. If for no other reason, Ross' notoriety made sure this lovely old home is still around for us to enjoy. The suggested donation is $3 for adults. An audio tour is available for $5 which includes the suggested admission price.
Deemed “Our Nation's Oldest Residential Street,” Elfred's Alley offers a rare glimpse into colonial America and does in fact date back to the very early 1700s. Few outside of Philadelphia-natives fully recognized the importance of the city to the inception of the United States. Boston has its tea party, New York is the nation's global capital and DC is the seat of the government but Philadelphia played a pivotal role in what was to become and outside of Boston still offers the most detailed view of life in pre-Revolutionary life in what was to become the US. The Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross's flag may be the icons cementing this legacy but Elfred's Alley is a more concrete vision to behold. A neighborhood street largely unchanged in character for 300 years. Sure, it was set for demolition in the early 1900s but thankfully, concerned citizens banded together to save it and now with it a National Historic Landmark, it should be around for future generations to behold and hopefully appreciate.
There is a small museum store located on the block but aside from that, the buildings still on display are private (and fairly expensive for their size) homes. The best way to enjoy them is to stroll down it's narrow cobblestone street midday during the week when it's likely no one else is around. It's like taking a walk to another time.
Supposedly haunted, the house is a complex of two buildings that Betsy Ross lived in and met with the flag committe to design and present the American flag in 1777.
After you tour through the house, you can go into the courtyard and meet Betsy Ross, hear storytelling and watch colonial era craftsmen at work.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, April to October
closed Mondays, October through March
$2 children 12 and under/students
Audio tours are $5 (price includes admission)
The Betsy Ross house is located a little north of Franklin Court. The site has a courtyard, a gift shop/ticket office, and the house itself. Sometimes you will see colonial actors in the courtyard. The house itself is rather small but it's an interesting look at life in a colonial city. There are several stories to the house (including the basement).
If you visit try to get their early. Due to the size of the house, it can be very difficult to move from room to room when crowded.
Although Betsy Ross had diligently studied upholstery, she had never made a flag. Once the idea was revealed to her, she agreed to take on the project...with one change. A five pointed star would be used in the design rather than the six pointed star. General George Washington and two others who accompanied him to her shop agreed to the alteration. One year later a resolution was passed making the Stars and Stripes the official flag of the United States.
Her part in the American Revolution by sewing the Stars and Stripes would never have been known if it hadn't been for a family member bringing it to the attention of Congress almost 100 years later.
Hours are 10 am-5 pm daily from April-September; Tues.-Sun. from October-March. The home is opened on all holiday Mondays. A self guided tour is $3.00 for adults and seniors; $2.00 for children and students. A $4.00 entrance fee provides an audio guide.
The Betsy Ross house is where the first flag of the United States was made. This came about when General George Washington and two other members of the Continental Congress walked into her upholstery shop with something specific on their minds--a new flag representing the country had to be created and they felt Betsy was up to the task. The year was 1776.
Betsy's house is nicely preserved and her life in Philadelphia interestingly detailed. She was an enterprising woman who lived into her 80's.
Operating hours are 10 am-5 pm daily from April-September; Tus.Sun from October-March. A self guided tour is $3.00 for adults and seniors; $2.00 for children and students or a $4.00 admission fee which provides entrance and an audio guide.
This historic house commemorates the life and accomplishments of Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia patriot believed to have made our first American flag. An excellent example of Colonial "middling" class architecture, the Betsy Ross House brings to life the working and living conditions of an 18th-century artisian.
There is an audio tour with headphones which explains the different aspects of the house for a small fee. We enjoyed the tour very much as well as the stories told of Betsy Ross' life.
Cute enough from the outside (which has Betsy Ross's and her 3rd husband, John Claypool's graves), but inside this restored home of the woman who sewed the first American flag, it's pretty much a gift shop.
Open daily 10-5 (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
Tuesday-Sun 10-5 (Rest of Year)
Closed Jan 1, Thanksgiving, Dec 25
Betsy Ross lived in a comparatively posh Federal House some blocks north of Independence Hall. For $3 one can roam at will among the kitchen, basement pantry and upstairs bedrooms (those not roped off) and take pictures at will. Philadelphia "Colonials" (i.e. the city's welcoming staffers) often stand in the courtyard to answer questions in Colonial garb. Besides the tour of the house, Betsy Ross' grave stands on the western edge of the courtyard. Open Tues-Sun 10-5.
Betsy's house was donated to the city in 1937 and was restored with the proceeds of a dime donation drive.
But did she really sew the first American flag?
She WAS a good friend of George Washington. She WAS a seamstress. But the only proof that she did indeed sew the first flag is by an accounting made by her grandson...
The tour is self-guided and only takes about a half-hour.
Nearby is Elfreth's Alley- You must check it out. Also nearby: the US Mint and the new National Constitution Center.
So, while it doesn't take long to visit Betsy's place, it is close to other attractions.
Self-guided tour for Adults $3.00
Children & Seniors $2.00.
Hours: 10am - 5pm.
Open daily April -- September
Open Tuesday -- Sunday October -- March. Open on Monday holidays.
Betsy often amused her children and grandchildren by recounting the story of how she made the first Stars and Stripes. For nearly a century, the story of Betsy Ross and the making of the first flag was known only by her family. It wasn?t until William Canby?s speech to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870 that the nation was first introduced to his remarkable grandmother and her accomplishments
The men presented her with a sketch of the proposed flag. She studied the drawing and noticed that there were six-pointed stars in the design. Betsy suggested that the stars should have five points, but the gentlemen protested, claiming that a great many of these flags must be made very quickly and a five-pointed star would be too difficult to make. With that, Betsy folded a piece of paper and with just one snip of her scissors she revealed a perfect five-pointed star. The men were impressed with her skill and agreed to change the design. One year later, on June 14, 1777, Congress passed the Flag Resolution, making the Stars and Stripes the official flag of the United States