Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House Elizabeth "Betsy" Griscom was born in Philadelphia in 1752. At a young age she was apprenticed to a local upholsterer. At the age of 21 she married a fellow apprentice, John Ross, and they soon opened their own upholstry business.

As a parishoner at Christ Church she sat in a pew next to George and Martha Washington and came to know them and did some embroidery for him.

Her husband joined the Pennsylvania militia and was killed in an explosion in early 1776, leaving the young widow to struggle with the business alone.

In May 1776 a committee of the Continental Congress led by General George Washington met secretly with Betsy at her home. Working from Washington's rough idea for a flag, Betsy was commissioned to create this nation's first flag.

On June 14,1777 the Continental Congress officially adopted the flag created by Betsy Ross as our national flag.

Betsy Ross died on January 30, 1836, at the age of 84. She is buried in a small garden next to her house.

Location: 239 Arch St. (between 2nd and 3rd Streets)
Open most days, 10am-5pm
Tourism information: 215-686-1252


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