Lois Leveen

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February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Day at the Pleasure Garden

Spend Valentine's Day at the Pleasure Garden! The antebellum Pleasure Garden, that is.

Today's Fascinating Fact from The Secrets of Mary Bowser is not about the Civil War, per se. It's about where Mary goes for a date when she is living in Philadelphia in the 1850s. Unlike me, Mary did not get to spend her teen years hanging out at the Multiplex. She got to hang out at the pleasure garden.

Less kinky than it might sound to modern ears, the pleasure garden was a feature of many 19th-century cities. Living in Philadelphia, Mary's pleasure garden of choice was Lemon Hill.

As you can see from this photograph (downloaded from the Lemon Hill website), there is no place kids would rather be. Well, maybe that is less true now that they have the Multiplex. Not to mention the Youtube. But for Mary, it really was a hot time in the city.
Bored kids on a field trip
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