Henry Mercer look-alike will take the story of one of Doylestown's leading citizens into area schools.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Henry Mercer is re-elected president of the Bucks County Historical Society, borough council will investigate dumping of sewage, and the Doylestown Country Club reports a prosperous year, 84 years ago this week.
Editor's note - Henry C. Mercer, born in Doylestown in 1856, helped Gen. W.W.H. Davis found the Bucks County Historical Society in 1880. Mercer became president of the society the year after Davis' death in 1910, and built a concrete castle-like museum, which he gave to the society, in 1916. Mercer remained president until he died in 1930. At the annual meeting of the Bucks County Historical Society in Doylestown on Saturday, Dr. Henry C. Mercer was re-elected president. During the business session, the election took place with the following results: President, Dr. Henry C. Mercer; vice presidents, B.F. Fackenthal, of Riegelsville, and Colonel Henry D. Paxson; secretary and treasurer, Horace M. Mann; curator, Dr. Henry C. Mercer; assistant…
Thursday, September 20, 2012
While Doylestown Borough borders Fonthill on three sides, it is likely the property was never annexed because of opposition from owner Henry C. Mercer.
As Fonthill marks the 100th anniversary of its completion this year, The History Guy tackles a question about the story behind its location. Street maps show the Fonthill property is bordered on the west, north and south by Doylestown Borough and on the east (Swamp Road) by Buckingham Township. Logically, Fonthill should be in the borough. Why is it in Doylestown Township instead? - W.J., Doylestown. When Doylestown Borough was incorporated in 1838, it consisted of 488 acres taken from Doylestown Township. The boundaries were East Street on the east side, West Street on the west side, a line roughly parallel to today's Doyle Street on the north side and a line below Ashland Street on the south side. These borders remained unchanged for…
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Henry Mercer's iconic home has been listed as a top U.S. castle to visit.
Locals know the pleasure of strolling down the tree-lined driveway leading to Doylestown's iconic cement castle, and now, readers of a popular travel magazine might, too. Fonthill has been named to a list of the United States' top 12 castles, compiled by Budget Travel magazine. Heralding Fonthill's "mishmash of medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine styles," the magazine description also points out the historical artifacts preserved in both Fonthill and the Mercer Museum. The list of castle vacation ideas also includes another Pennsylvania entry, the Gray Towers Castle in Glenside. Also making the list were Hammond Castle, in Gloucester, Mass.; Castello di Amorosa, in Calistoga, Calif.; and Gillette Castle in East Haddam, Conn. - though most …
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The family-friendly event returns to the grounds of Henry Mercer's castle in honor of Independence Day.
Fonthill Castle marks its 100th anniversary with an extra-special Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from noon to 4 p.m., on the grounds of the castle. The family-friendly event features a variety of activities including old-fashioned games, live music and entertainment, along with the yearly tradition, the children’s decorated bike parade. Guests also will be able to view an anastatic facsimilie of the Declaration of Independence and learn how it was discovered. The day's festivities kick off with the children's decorated bike parade at 12:30 p.m. Children are invited to dress up themselves and their bikes (or other wheeled conveyance) in red, white and blue for the traditional ride down Fonthill's tree-…
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Keep your eyes peeled this week for glimpses of one of Doylestown's favorite sons.
Among the crowd watching Doylestown's Memorial Day parade on Monday was one of the town's most revered forebears. Henry Mercer could be seen chatting with spectators at State and Main, and striding down West Court Street to talk to the parade participants as they lined up early in the morning. And anyone who greeted him got a free "Where's Henry?" slip to be entered into a drawing on Saturday. "All they have to do is come up to me and say hello, and they'll get this," C. Jameson Bradley said on Monday, holding out one of the slips. Known as "Jamie," Bradley draws on his experience acting with such local groups as Town and Country Players to portray Mercer at local events for years. The "Where's Henry?" appareances are part of the ongoing…
Thursday, November 3, 2011
The History Guy describes the glory days and eventual decline of the now-abandoned and vandalized cottage.
There is an abandoned stone house in the Fonthill woods which, sadly, has been gutted and spray-painted by vandals. What was this house and did it have any connection with Henry Mercer? - S.L., Buckingham In 1907, Henry Mercer paid $12,200 for nine tracts of land, totaling about 70 acres, bounded by Court, East and North streets and Swamp Road, according to "Henry Chapman Mercer: An Annotated Chronology," published by the Bucks County Historical Society in 1989. The Thierolf farm consisted of 30 acres in the center of the property. When he built Fonthill from 1908 to 1912, Mercer encased the farmhouse in concrete and joined it to the "castle" section of his home. The wooden barn was razed and replaced by a concrete garage erected on its …
Monday, September 5, 2011
Take a closer look at what inspires the man behind the mustache.
C. Jameson Bradley had never seen a photograph of Henry Chapman Mercer before he was asked to portray the Doylestown benefactor 12 years ago. Even he admitted the likeness was eerie. A cabinet-maker by day, Bradley uses his years of community theater experience to transform into the man with the mustache for special events at Mercer Museum, Tile Works and Fonthill. “I’m bringing Henry to life today as if he were 155 years old and well-preserved,” said Bradley, a resident of Haycock. But the gig doesn’t just involve donning a cream Victorian suit and hat and shaking hands at the Memorial Day Parade. Bradley continues to learn as much as he can about Mercer, a man he’s found to be just as much rooted in the past as ahead of his time. An …
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Can you ID this spot from around town?
Think you know Doylestown? Prove it. Identify the spot in this photograph, taken somewhere around town. Put your guess in the comments, and we'll let you know who's right in a few days. Good luck! Editor's Note: The weathervane is perched atop Fonthill, Henry Mercer's concrete castle on Court Street. Lucy was Mercer's horse and was instrumental in the building of Mercer Museum in 1913.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The dog-themed event was inspired by Henry Mercer's love for his dog, Rollo.
Get ready for a day of tail-wagging fun at Doylestown's Fonthill Castle. "Tail Waggin' Times" comes to Fonthill this weekend, on Sunday, August 21. The dog-themed event was inspired by Fonthill owner, Henry Mercer, and his love for his favorite pet and best friend, "Rollo" the dog. The event runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can bring their dogs and participate in a host of activities, including a dog costume parade/contest and craft activities. They also will be able to peruse the many canine service vendors on hand for the day. Participants include: Access to the grounds and parking is free. Tickets must be purchased to participate in crafts and special activities. Dogs must be on a leash. For more information, call 215-348-9461…