The Betsy Ross House
The birthplace of the American flag
Did she or didn’t she sew the first American flag? Ask Betsy Ross about her role in making the first national flag yourself when you visit the iconic home of America’s most famous flag maker.
The home of the famous seamstress is a must-see historic attraction for visitors and locals alike. Wander through the tiny rooms and tight staircases of the 1740 residence that Betsy rented while establishing her living as an upholsterer.
During your tour, you can talk to Betsy herself and discover why she took on the potentially treasonous flag-making task when George Washington came knocking at her door and the time-saving trick she shared with the great general.
On the self-guided tour, you can explore her upholstery shop, the parlor where she received the Flag Committee, the bedroom where she sewed the first flag and her basement where she made musket cartridges for the Continental Army. Throughout the home, you’ll see Ross family treasures including her family bible, snuff box and more.
Changing exhibits in the gallery offer unique peeks into rarely seen corners of Colonial life.
Audio guides are also available, including a special version just for kids, where Betsy’s voice shares more insight on life among the working class in 18th-century Philadelphia.
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.
Betsy Ross is buried beneath the giant elm, magnolia and sycamore trees that shade the courtyard of her home in Historic Philadelphia.
The Betsy Ross House is the only site in the country that interprets a working 18th-century upholstery shop.
The kids will love meeting Betsy and having her show them how to cut a five point star with just one snip of the scissors. Interactive exhibits let young visitors try their hands at colonial cookery and more.
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In the neighborhood
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601 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Philadelphia CityPASS
- Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church
- Independence Visitor Center
- The Bourse
- Old St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
- Old Pine Street (Third, Scots and Mariners) Presbyterian Church
- National Constitution Center
- Congress Hall
- Once Upon a Nation
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