A city steeped in history, it would be hard to walk anywhere in Philadelphia without passing the site of some interesting event, whether widely known or obscure. Jan and John Haigis uncover these hidden stories, sharing little-known anecdotes and original songs as you explore two of the city's most beautiful spaces. Starting at the monumental Second Empire–style city hall, you'll first learn about Philly's beginnings, from the early Swedish and Dutch settlers to the formal founding of the city by William Penn. You'll then hop aboard a steel-wheeled trolley that shuttles tours to Bartram's Garden, a gorgeous botanical preserve begun by the Quaker farmer John Bartram in the early-18th century. Next is the verdant cemetery at The Woodlands, where Jan and John relate the history of the Hamilton family, whose elegant English-style estate proved irresistible to 19th-century land developers looking to capitalize on the growing trend of rural cemeteries.
Learn About Philly's Overlooked History
Tours meander through Bartram's Garden and the cemetery at The Woodlands as you learn little-known facts
Tour Guides Double as Singer-Songwriters
Longtime Philadelphia history buffs, the Haigises bring the past to life with vivid narration and original songs
Each tour is capped at 20 participants; each tour requires a minimum of 5 participants in order to take place.
In 1985, Jan and John Haigis led their community's efforts to save the Blue Bell, one of Philadelphia's colonial taverns. Their historical interest piqued, the pair began learning more about their city's past, absorbing stories about landmarks and individuals both famous and obscure. Jan and John's tours combine their extensive knowledge of the past with a love of storytelling, best expressed in original songs that recount Philly's history through lyrics celebrating “liberty, loyalty, libations, and love.”
All tours begin at 1 p.m.
November 1 | November 15
November 9 | November 23
December 7 | December 21
Tours will begin under the east gateway of Philadelphia City Hall on Juniper Street.