Philly Visitor Guide
The Betsy Ross House
Did she or didn’t she? While historians debate Betsy Ross’ role in making the first American flag, the home of the nation’s best known seamstress is among the region’s most popular attractions.
Betsy, who made a living as a furniture upholsterer, rented the 1740 home, and the teeny-tiny rooms and tight little staircases give a good portrayal of a working class woman’s life in colonial America. Her workroom, two bedrooms, and kitchen are all included in a self-guided tour. An exhibit area in the house’s extensive gift shop displays family treasures including her family bible, snuff box, and other artifacts while a new audio tour allows visitors to take a guided tour of the house at their own pace. Betsy Ross is buried beneath the giant elm and sycamore trees that shade the courtyard.
The raging war for Independence created many widows. Betsy Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypool ultimately lost three husbands, but unlike many widows who were left without resources, her skills as a seamstress enabled her to support herself and her seven children. She operated her business well past the age of 70 and finally died at the age of 84.