Bessie Smith House

At the time of her death, legendary blues Bessie Smith lived in this three-story brick rowhouse, located at 1319 Christian Street. Her funeral was held on Oct. 4, 1937. The funeral was moved from Upshur’s Funeral Home to O.V. Catto Lodge to accommodate the 10,000 mourners who filed pass her coffin.

Bessie Smith Funeral Procession

Bessie’s casket was taken on a slow tour of her South Philly neighborhood, briefly stopping at the Standard Theater, where she regularly performed.

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