Category Archives: Other People’s Houses

Benjamin Franklin’s House

In 1737, a 31 year old gentleman was name the Deputy Postmaster in Philadelphia. That gentleman was Benjamin Franklin. Ben was originally from Boston, but ran to Philadelphia at 17 yrs old to get away from the law since he had quit his printing apprenticeship (with his brother) without permission making himself a fugitive. He eventually became a leading citizen in the colony, starting the first newspaper in Philadelphia, creating the first library, and contributing to the establishment of the University of Pennsylvania. All in all, Benjamin Franklin was a highly successful and talented man.

When he settled in Philadelphia, he settled on Market Street. Eventually he built a bookstore, printing shop, and Post office facing Market Street. Today, in the same location, is the postal museum and his printing shop:

There is a corridor between the buildings that leads to where Benjamin’s house stood at one time:

The city has erected a structure showing where his house was located. Through out the area you can see the remnants of his place.

Unfortunately, the house was torn down and built over. However, you can still see parts of the foundations and walls underground:

They even uncovered his “privy”…aka bathroom!:

Inside the metal house structure, they have the floor plan marked out so you can get an idea of what the house may have looked like at one time:

It was truly surreal to stand where one of our Founding Fathers lived. I was glad to see the city do their best to keep it alive. They had placards throughout the courtyard showing maps and details of Philly from the 1700’s. One of the more interesting ones was a view of Market Street through the years!

I’m sure Ben would have been a bit surprised to see the street as it looks now. Especially if he saw how people managed to move furniture in and out of the buildings! I couldn’t figure out if they were trying to move the mattress into the building or get it out. What do you think?

Biltmore Estate Stables

One of the pleasures of going to the Biltmore is being able to ride in their horse drawn carriages. On my last trip to the estate I stopped by the stables to see the beautiful animals. My first impression was “wow…this is quite small.” The stables is in fact one of the smallest parts of the Biltmore estate.

 

The lion is part of the Vanderbilt’s family crest and is seen on both buildings in the stable area. Inside the first barn were the Biltmore Draft Horses. I wasn’t able to get close enough to touch them, but they look so lovable don’t they?

 

 

In the second area of the stables were the smaller horses that I’m sure probably pull the smaller carriages.

 

 

 

The horse on the end, “Ol’ Paint” as my Dad called him, seemed interested in what we were doing there. I imagine they don’t get a lot of visitors there.

 

 

Behind the stable area is a pasture for the rest of the horses to “horse” around in. Yuck yuck yuck! lol…they were pretty calm until I started taking pictures. They got a little rowdy (nipping at each other) the longer we stood there, so we didn’t stay too long.

 

Biltmore Estate Second Visit

A couple of years ago I went to the Biltmore during Christmas. The trip was enjoyable, but all of the plants were in hibernation for winter and the gardens were barren. I just got back from the North Carolina where I had planned on going back to the Biltmore to see it in all it’s glory during the Spring. Unfortunately, I got there about a week too early!

The skies were overcast and the wind was very chilly. All of the trees were still without blooms and the garden just had small green shoots of tulips showing. So, I guess I’ll have to go again…this time in the summer when it’s guaranteed to be bloomed out.