Shed Light on Philly’s Past at a Historic Garden and Cemetery

Traipse through the Woodlands Cemetery and Bartram’s Garden as you learn the history that’s passed through them.

Shed Light on Philly’s Past at a Historic Garden and Cemetery
  • Jan and John Haigis are Philly history buffs and storytellers
  • Travel to renowned locations in Philly to cover over three centuries of history
  • Enjoy stories brought to life as Jan and John perform original songs

Some of Philly’s most culturally rich landmarks are also some of the most beautiful. Both Woodlands Cemetery and Bartram’s Garden date back to the early 18th century, and they have born witness to some of the city’s earliest history and most fascinating tales.

To uncover the lesser-known anecdotes from these locations, Jan and John Haigis delved deep into Philly’s past. Their interest in the city’s landmarks began when they founded Friends of the Blue Bell, an organization dedicated to saving a colonial tavern, and from there they began to research other sites. As singer-songwriters, they have a knack for performing and storytelling, making them ideal guides to navigate the city’s backstory.

Start at the courtyard of the Second Empire City Hall, where Jan and John will introduce the city’s founding, beginning with the early Swedish and Dutch immigrants to the arrival of activist William Penn. As you hop aboard a Kawasaki steel-wheeled trolley, (your fee covers the cost of transportation) you will hear stories about Quaker, botanist and philosopher John Bartram as you travel to Bartram’s Garden, one of Philly’s most breathtaking spaces, and trace its history back to it's Swedish roots. A house tour is an option at an additional cost. Following the visit , you will learn about the Hamilton family and arrive at the stunning Woodlands Cemetery to visit notable graves. As you explore the different scenes, Jan and John will pepper in stories told through song that embrace the spirit of Philly.


Meet the Host

Jan and John Haigis - Philly History Buffs, Storytellers

Jan and John Haigis

Philly History Buffs, Storytellers

In 1985, Jan and John chartered Friends of the Blue Bell in order to save a historic tavern. Since then, their interest in Philly’s culture has grown, and they are passionate about landmark sites and early figures that have passed through them. Jan and John are singer-songwriters, and specialize...

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