Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin not only created the very first Fire Department in Philadelphia, but that his entrepreneurial thinking also allowed him to capitalize on creating the very first Fire Insurance Company? Did you know the seat of our government would most likely have remained in Philadelphia if it had not been for Banker Stephen Girard's ships bringing Yellow Fever to the city? Have you ever noticed just how "glad" William Penn is to see you, if you're looking at his statue's silhouette from the parkway? I discovered these tidbits and so much more by taking a FOUNDING FOOTSTEPS TROLLEY TOUR...
Best of all, it's a BYOB Tour, so it's kinda like a live episode of "Drunk History"!
The trolley originates on 3rd & Arch Sts. near Rocket & Fizz. The tour winds a bit through Old City and up to the Art Museum and back. You'd be surprised how much you don't know, even if you're a native Philadelphian like me; plus learning is always more fun when there's wine and beer involved. And don't worry, during the tour there's a stop for a clean and comfortable bathroom break! On top of which, Founding Footsteps, a relatively new Historic Tour Company, is run by a great couple, newly weds (coming up on their 1st Anniversary this fall) Tim & Abbie McAleer. Abbie is a warm hostess and Tim has a big personality full of stories and jokes.
I'm always interested in how people get there start up businesses off the ground. So I asked Tim about Founding Footsteps. He's actually a school teacher, who found out that American Trolley Tours was hiring backup tour guides, he signed up and after his first outing realized he wanted to do it full time, but as his own business. What most of us who have a dream like this are missing is that person to act as a mentor; but as luck would have it, Tom, proprietor of American Trolley Tours encouraged Tim's interest and has been instrumental in helping Tim & Abbie with Founding Footsteps from the start.
The BYOB Tour is not the only offering. You can also take their Philly Phables Walking Tour or the Tavern Tour, and of course you can book private parties.
If you are taking the BYOB tour, I recommend you stop at Mulberry Market (236 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106) and choose among their large selection of Imported and Craft Beers, I also got a good sandwich there to take on the tour. What I don't recommend is one of the beers I choose...
Your ticket will also give you 10% off at Campos (214 Market St.) Nothing like a Philly Tour while eating a Philly Cheesesteak! Tim & Abbie will also match or beat any Groupon offers, so give them a call before using Groupon.
Tim is also the founder of TEACH2THECORE...
where students who are the first people in their family to go to college serve as mentors to high school students. These teens get four hours a week of free literacy tutoring for which they are required to do community service. The program is run during the summer to help combat that reading slide that happens while kids are out of school. In turn, the teens being tutored are encouraged to find a first grader in their neighborhood and read to them at least an hour a week... LEARN MORE
Coincidentally, Founding Footsteps runs the Teach 2 the Core program through WesGold Fellows (click for post) which T&T covered in 2014.
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog