A castle filled with pre-industrial tools and artifacts
This towering castle, opened 100 years ago in 1916, is an imposing landmark in otherwise low-rise Doylestown, shelters a museum where the mundane becomes fascinating. Each themed room winding up the castle stairs has dramatic displays of tools, folk art and articles used in everyday life in early America — before mechanization.
Every craft is represented: there are cobblers’ tools and log sleds, leatherworking hammers and threshing machines, tinsmithing wares and a vast room of horn and tortoise-shell works. The more than 40,000 items are packed floor to ceiling; in fact, many hang from the ceiling of the four-story central court, including a Conestoga wagon, whaling boat and antique fire engine.
While you’re at the Mercer Museum, enhance your visit with audio guides, enjoy hands-on activities for kids and browse items available for purchase at the museum shop.
Dates: Through June 12, 2016
What did it take for early American settlers to survive in their New World environment? Take an exciting journey of discovery and survival as you wind your way through a series of challenges set within a maze. Interactive experiences include the Rocky Falls Climbing Wall and Ship to Shore Zip Slide.
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Long May She Wave: A Graphic History of the American Flag
Dates: July 2, 2016 – November 6, 2016
Among the most recognizable icons in the world, the American flag has a long history of graphic interpretations, from Civil War-era flags and Native American moccasins to political campaign buttons and original flag art. See thousands of American-flag related objects and artifacts on view in this fascinating exhibit.
For more information on Long May She Wave: A Graphic History of the American Flag, click the button below.
Henry C. Mercer opened a museum in 1916 to contain his collection of everyday tools and artifacts associated with preindustrial trades, crafts, agriculture and domestic work. Mercer wanted to make sure that progress didn’t wipe out evidence of America’s early productivity.
Don’t miss the old cigar-store statues dotted around the museum; you’ll see not only Native Americans, but Buffalo Bill Cody, too.
Great Kids’ Stuff
The Animals on the Loose permanent exhibit invites the museum’s youngest visitors (ages 3 to 8) and their families to join Henry Mercer’s favorite dog, Rollo, on a participatory adventure in search of “escaped” animal artifacts from the museum’s collection. Children will also enjoy visiting Dr. Mercer’s office in the Imagination Gallery to peruse his notebooks, read personal correspondence, view family photos, and enjoy puzzles, games, and books.
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