Thursday, April 9, 2009

I have a treat for you!

Hey blogbuds, I have a real nice treat for you today, so sit back and grab some coffee. I was downtown last night, and you know how your thoughts drift off in crazy ways when you're driving. I realized that while we associate New England with prim and colonial style -- Philly has just as much influence as New England. So I am taking you on a virtual tour! So sit back, put your feet up, grab a cup of coffee, and see the colonial Philadelphia that so influences what we love in our decorating! You ready??
Ok, there are two ways most tourists see the early American sites here. You can board the old fashioned trolley... or.. you can take the horse and buggy through Olde City. I think we'll take the horse and buggy -- so prim! The first stop is... The Betsy Ross House. Tiny little house where she supposedly did some sewing (LOL) -- she must have been a crafter, too. :>) Nearby is... Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital started by Benjamen Franklin in 1756, whose burial site is across the street. I was very fortunate to have spent much of my nursing career here, and was surrounded daily by the history inside. This pic is the original hospital building (which is still is use for offices but is also a museum.) The Pine Building, as its known, houses the Nursing Museum, the 1st Medical library, and the 1st surgical amphitheater, where crude surgeries where done in the daytime (for sunlight!)-- as this is prior to electricity. This is also the sight of the first mental hospital -- the moats are still there where they paraded the 'patients' for the entertainment of the visitors. Considering that this was prior to the Revolution, it was considered humane in those days.
I'm sure you'd live to stop for something to eat? We can stop at... The City Tavern, where Ben, John Adams, and their Founding Father buddies regularly met to munch on some Philly cheese steaks. (Oh, wait, no, that came later. LOL) Inside, the waiters are dressed in colonial garb, and the food is delicious! All totally restored to the original-- hard to know what's new and what's the real thing from the 1760's.
Inside of Independence Hall, not too far from the City Tavern, you can see the origins of our love for pewter, inkwells, and candles-- and black.
This looks like Pine Street, where these homes are restored and lived in. Where New England has a bit of a 'country farmhouse' feel, Philly was the large urban area in the late 1700' s-- at the time the biggest city in the colonies. So, there is a colonial townhouse influence all through the Olde City and what is now called Society Hill. I can see myself living in one of these, but I'd have to win the lottery first. Notice that the pavement is not cement, but the red cobblestone, which really does look beautiful.
Here's a closer look. These homes are called "Trinities" because there is really only one or two rooms on each floor, with 3 floors in each. When my office was in one of these (when I worked at Pennsy) I stayed thin because I was constantly running up and down the steps! Tiny little rooms, but oh-so-prim.

It's unlikely, I would think, that the rooms would be this large in the original colonial homes and trinities, but one can dream, yes?? Another reason why I love the Fall. With all of the different trees in Old City (and William Penn named the streets after the trees), they make such a colorful gathering on the old steps in front of some of the homes.
Some of the wealthier colonials had carriage houses attached.

And of course, flower boxes are a must in these homes.

The streets were small and narrow...

as was Elfreth's Alley, supposedly the oldest continuously inhabited street in the country. Can you imagine people peeking in your living room window during tourist season?

Imagine living on an historical street that actually has a museum shop! You know I will be stopping in one of these weekends! I see GOODIES!!
Naturally, the colonial folks also lived outside the city where they farmed and such. Valley Forge, perhaps--
and along the Delaware River...
Well, no tour if Philly is complete without this guy. So did you enjoy your tour of colonial Philadelphia?? I hope so!! In order to not violate any copy- writes, I want to add here that many of these pics were 'borrowed" from this wonderful site:
Have a great day, if you're not too tired from such a long tour! LOL! Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Wow, that was great! I've always wanted to visit Philadelphia, but I've never had the chance yet-so you took me there virtually,thanks!

  2. I am moving there as soon as my bags are packed!
    I visited Philidelphia when I was young...too bad I didn't appreciate it then!
    I would love to live in one of those colonial row homes....ahhhh what a dream!
    Thanks for the tour....I loved it!

  3. Hi terry, WOW, what a wonderful post. It brought back memories of our trips to Philly. Now I want to go back again!!!

    And our Gathering of Friends is building - got some more last night!

    I'm just so anxious.

    Hugs, Karen

  4. Thanks so much for the tour!! It looks heavenly!

  5. Oh I loved it all....very beautiful..would love to tour all of those in real the color of the leaves....thanks for sharing..:)

  6. WOW, that was a TREAT!
    Thanks for sharing, Terry!
    Everything is so beautiful!

    Happy Easter, hope it's filled with lots of happy blessings!


  7. Thanks, for the beautiful tour, Fall is my favorite season. I would like to visit Philly.

  8. Thanks for the cyber vacation...loved the was awesome... thanks for sharing it
    with us...
    Prim Blessings...

  9. OH I love Philly too - that was fun!! There are so many wonderful colonial spots on the east coast - we are blessed with such rich history!! I have been to them all and they are just so breath taking!

    Thanks for sharing and Happy Easter. hugs, Linda

  10. Terry,
    Thanks for the tour of historial Philly. Love all the colonial buildings. We have never been there, but it is on our list of places that we want to travel to. After seeing those photos...I'm ready to pack my bags. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. That was a great tour Terry!....the Philadelphia tourism board should pay you! LOL....thanks for the virtual visit! Janet :)

  12. Thanks for sharing the great tour...Boston was alot like that too:)
    Love the one pic of the leaves on the steps and the inside pics of the homes.
    Have a great Easter.

  13. I want to live in the Betsy Ross House.....We would rename it Bethy House! LOVE it all! Beth

  14. Hi Terry :)

    I would love to go there some day! Especially in the Fall :)

    Happy Easter!!!


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