Mercer Museum, Doylestown

4.7
#1 of 13 in Things to do in Doylestown
The Mercer Museum is a museum located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States. The Bucks County Historical Society operates the Mercer Museum, as well as the Research Library, and Fonthill Castle, former home of the museum's founder, archeologist Henry Chapman Mercer. The museum was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and was later included in a National Historic Landmark District along with the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works and Fonthill. These three structures are the only poured-in-place concrete structures built by Mercer.HistoryHenry Mercer was a gentleman anthropologist. On a cruise up the Ruhr in early adulthood, Mercer was impressed by the eclipse of artisanal culture by industrial production, and resolved himself to preserving artifacts of preindustrial life. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Mercer collected pre-industrial hand tools and other implements of the past. He believed that the story of human progress and accomplishments was told by the tools and objects that people used and saw these time-honored crafts slowly disappearing from memory.Mercer personally designed plans for a museum to house his collection, six stories tall and cast of poured-in-place concrete. Mercer's museum was completed in 1916. In addition to tools, it displays furnishings of early America, carriages, stove plates, a gallows, antique fire engines, a whaleboat, and the Lenape Stone. The Spruance Library, which houses the Bucks County Historical Society's archive of historical research materials, is located on its third floor. In June 2011, construction was completed on a new, extensive visitors center at the front of the museum.
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TripAdvisor
  • If you're looking to visit a truly uncommon museum (in a real nice town), a trip to the Mercer Museum is just the ticket. The museum sets up like a big historical fun house, and we found it fascinatin...  more »
  • We went to try he Mercer Museum not really knowing the c OK mpkete history of Henry Mercer. He was a man with a deep passion for early American treasures. From the simplest basket to a whaling boat, t...  more »
  • When in the Philadelphia area, take a trip to Doylestown, visit Mercer Museum. It was way better than what I expected. Unbelievable place.  more »
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  • This place is mind boggling! Between the building and the collection, it is so fascinating and one of a kind. Only drawback is it seems the museum is not climate controlled, so it was chilly in December. Otherwise, it is amazing!
  • Took my daughter here and we both had a great time learning how things were in the past. The tour took about two hours and was well worth our time. The gallows on the top floor was a bit creepy, but also interesting.
  • Fantastic experience! One of the most unique museums I have ever visited, with a fascinating back story to boot!
  • Never knew this place existed. I went to a wedding here. Museum was very interesting.
  • Awesome place if you like to look at old collectables.

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