Learning at Elfreth's Alley

These lessons, elucidating themes in three different eras in the life of “The Alley,” have been made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. We hope your visit to the website can be an introduction to study of how the people of “The Alley” lived their lives.  Come visit us in Philadelphia.

Learning about everyday life in times gone by and comparing that with the lives students lead today will help them gain an understanding of some of differences and similarities between Philadelphia then and now.

Eighteenth Century: 1765-1790
The lessons in this section explore the lives of African-Americans on the Alley and artisans on the Alley. 

Nineteenth Century: 1865-1880
Elfreth's Alley in the 19th century was the home of immigrant families who were getting a foothold in America.

Twentieth Century: 1950-1965
In the mid-20th century, Elfreth's Alley became a focal point in the public debate over the building of the Delaware Expressway.