Phily Trip Day 2 – Independence Hall and surrounding area

Hello Whittney and my history students,

I began Day 2 with my first subway ride. That was quite an experience. It’s noisy, crowded, and not my favorite mode of transportation, but it was functional. I went to Independence Hall, toured it and the adjoining buildings, and saw many sights in the surrounding area. Here are just a few of the places with pictures.

This is a picture of a public hand water pump on the north side of Independence Hall. If a person didn’t have a water well at their house, they could come to this one and get water.

Hand water pump for public use

I’ll bet you know what this one is, but did you know that the wide crack in the bell is not a crack?

The real crack that damaged the Liberty Bell is a tiny fracture that runs upwards in a vaguely horizontal fashion. The wide gash you see was actually part of the repair process. 

Here’s a picture of a pipe organ in the balcony area of the Christ Church. I’ll return to this church on Sunday and spend more time learning the history of it. There are grave markers (actually slabs) on the ground outside and inside the church. There are some that go right down the middle of the aisle between the pews and you are allowed to walk on them. Benjamin Franklin went to this church and I sat in his family’s pew and listened to a talk about the history of the church.

Many of the Founding Fathers attended service at Christ Church and the seeds of the Revolution began here.

Another out-of-the-ordinary sight was a short stretch of a cobblestone street. It’s also called pebblestone. The larger stones on the right are for horses and the smaller, more compact ones at the left are for carriages.

This is the building where the 1st Continental Congress met. The style of architecture is called “Georgian” after the first three kings of England. Remember, at the time the 1st Continental Congress was meeting, the American Revolution was afoot, so England was still involved with what was happening in the colonies. The brick laying was called a Flemish bond style. The building is symmetrical. Any side could be the front and the left and right sides are mirror images of each other. It was built by the Carpenter’s Company and this company is still in business today.  

I could certainly use the history I learned and pictures of Independence Hall in my classroom as supporting information when talking about any of the Founding Fathers and particularly Benjamin Franklin. Kids like the Liberty Bell and explaining the efforts to improve its tone and that it actually damaged it will be interesting to them.


1. How much does the Liberty Bell weigh?

2. When was the last time it was rung?

3. What was the occasion for the last time it was rung?

Tomorrow, I’m off to Valley Forge. Now, who was at Valley Forge?






  1. Hi grandma i looked up the Liberty Bell. The bell weighs 2,080 pounds. it was last rangin1846. the occason was George Washingtons birthday.


    whittney, brakelle, robyne

  2. Yes, Whittney, that’s right. I’ll tell you more about the Liberty Bell when I get home.

  3. Hi! We are glad you are having a good time. The pictures are great and we cannot wait to hear and see more when you get home. Just curious if the subway in Philly have the constant smell of urine like they do in NYC? Now that you are the world traveler, Kink needs to pack his traveling suitcase and enjoy the sights!

  4. Cameron and Courtney,

    Thanks for commenting. I’ve only ridden the subway to and fro once so far, but I understand there are 10 more trips in my future. 🙂 I didn’t notice the smell as much as the creepy, dirty, impersonal, concrete and metal atmosphere. And the PEOPLE. I don’t like crowds, so this is a little tough at times, but I’m soaking up the information like a sponge. I’m only posting a small portion of my pictures. I’m trying to get them all uploaded to my Flickr account. I’ll send you and Whittney an invitation to see them just as soon as I can figure out how to do that. 🙂

  5. Hey Mrs. Ownbey,
    Sorry I’m so late! I found pretty much the same as Whitney. The Liberty bell weighs 2,080lbs. It was last rang on Feb. 22, 1846 for George Washington’s birthday. Oh yeah, interesting “note” (ha, ha)-It’s strike note is an E-flat.

  6. 1. 2080lbs
    2. It was rung four days later on July 8 1776 to celebrate the first public reading of the document.

    hope it’s right!!

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