Bessie Smith House

At the time of her death, Bessie Smith, “Queen of Blues,” lived in a three-story rowhome in South Philly.

Bessie Smith House Collage2

Her funeral was held on October 4, 1937.

Bessie Smith2

The funeral was moved from Upshur’s Funeral Home to O.V. Catto Elks Lodge to accommodate the 30,000 mourners who filed pass her coffin.

bessie-smith-funeral-procession-e1426130630576
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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