text: seven walking tours through historic Philadelphia



Holy Trinity Church (Washington Square)

As we walk on 6th Street to Spruce we pass the graveyard of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Opened for services in 1789 by a German congregation, the church established the first Catholic orphan asylum in America in 1797. In 1831 Stephen Girard, the banker and philanthropist, was buried in the cemetery, but his body was later removed to Girard College. There is a small area in the cemetery where Acadians are buried. About 1,400 of them came to Philadelphia from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in 1755 when the British took over French Canada. Called "the French Neutrals," they were housed in a cantonment at 6th and Pine Streets while waiting for transportation to Louisiana. Many are buried here, and this is "the little Catholic Churchyard in the heart of the city" in which the lovers of Longfellow's poem "Evangeline" are said to be buried.



Washington Square and West