Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Philadelphia and Its People in Maps:
The 1790s

Elfreth’s Alley

map showing Elfreth's Alley

Map Copyright 2012, Paul Sivitz and Billy G. Smith, published with permission.

Elfreth’s Alley, which dates to the early eighteenth century, is perhaps the oldest continually inhabited alley in the nation. In 1790, thirty households with 123 people crowded into the alley. Most of them belonged to the lower classes: laborers, mariners, schoolmistresses, joiners, tailors, and bricklayers. In 1960, Elfreth’s Alley was designated a National Historic Landmark.

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