Friends of BCHS

Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society

The Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society (BCHS) is an auxiliary group of community members with a shared interest in history, culture, and the arts.  Formerly known as the Women’s Committee, the group was founded on May 11, 1967, as a volunteer group with a commitment and dedication to support the mission of the Mercer Museum and Library & Fonthill Castle. The group officially changed its name to the Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society to better reflect its growing membership.

The Friends of BCHS provide educational programs four times a year at no charge to the public.  Presentations have focused on topics of local and national interest, as well as many visits from first-person interpreters.  Beyond programs, the Friends of BCHS have sponsored a variety of fundraising events over the years, including bus trips, masquerade balls, card parties, tavern nights, musical performances and more.

For additional information or to join the Friends of the BCHS, please contact Kerriann Ruane, Fundraising Special Events Manager, at 215-345-0210, x132, or email

2023 Upcoming Programs


Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society Bus TripNational Museum of the American Indian | Friday, October 27, 2023 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON, DC : The National Museum of American Indians illustrates a curvilinear architectural form evoking a wind sculpted rock formation incorporating Native sensibilities.

Location: Washington, D.C.; The National Museum of the American Indian

Tickets: $95 Non-Members, $85 Friends of BCHS Members

Join the Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society for a day in Washington, D.C., to explore the National Museum of the American Indian. A diverse and multifaceted cultural and educational enterprise, the National Museum of the American Indian is an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex.

Departure from Fonthill Castle – 6:30 a.m.

Return to Fonthill Castle – 8:30 p.m.

Food: Lite fare will be provided in the morning on the bus. We will also provide snacks/beverages on the ride home. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own lunch on the trip and there are places in the area where you can purchase food if needed.

Security: The NMAI’s security measures ensure visitor safety and the protection of objects in the museum. A speedy hand-check of all bags, briefcases, purses, strollers, and containers will occur upon arrival. Visitors will walk through a metal detector or be hand-screened with an electronic wand by security personnel.

Please Dress Comfortably: A visit to the Smithsonian usually involves a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and layers of clothing. Masks are not required.

Register for the Bus Trip here.

Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society Program – Doylestown Hospital’s Early Years: 5 Women Who Made a Difference | Monday, November 13, 2023 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Mercer Museum Elkins Gallery

Tickets: Free pre-registration required

The Friends of BCHS are pleased to welcome our November speaker Anne Biggs author of Through Their Eyes: A Story of Doylestown Hospital for a special presentation titled Doylestown Hospital’s Early Years: 5 Women Who Made a Difference.

This presentation will delve into Doylestown Hospital’s 100-year history and highlight the achievements of five amazing women who greatly impacted the hospital’s evolution from a glimmer of an idea to the impressive, respected institution it is today.

The women highlighted include Miss Jane Watson, the first chair of the Visiting Nurse Committee; Miss Norma Munsey, a visiting nurse during the 1918 flu pandemic; Harriet Davis, MD, the second female physician in the county and the first pediatrician at Doylestown Hospital; Pamela Young, RN, the Nursing Supervisor in 1945 and Director of Nursing in 1961; and Prue Suydan, the VIA President from 1958 – 1960 and Hospital Committee Chair from 1966 – 1972 during strategic expansion plan leading to move to West State Street.

Anne “Cookie” Biggs is a professional writer and consultant based in Central Bucks County. She has used her journalism skills to provide a variety of services to corporate and nonprofit clients since 1994. In 1997, she was hired by Doylestown Hospital to compile its history for the Hospital’s 75th celebration, resulting in Through Their Eyes: A Story of Doylestown Hospital.

Cookie attended four of the last one-room schoolhouses in Central Bucks and graduated from Central Bucks High School, and local history and the people who created it fascinate her. Cookie is certain she has the absolute best view of the Mercer Museum from her front porch on Green Street.

Register here for Doylestown Hospital’s Early Years: 5 Women Who Made a Difference.

Previous Programs:

Friends of BCHS Quarterly Meeting – March 15, 2021
Virtual Lecture: The Private Henry Mercer

This multimedia presentation by BCHS Vice President of Collections and Interpretation Cory Amsler touches on some of the lesser-known aspects of Henry Mercer’s daily life at Fonthill Castle – his intimate and personal relationships, his interactions with household staff, his political and social positions, and his private concerns and passions.



There are 44 rooms in Fonthill including 10 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms and 18 fireplaces.
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• The Mercer Museum will close early at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2023 for a private event.

• Fonthill Castle will close early on Saturday, September 30, 2023 for a private event. The final tour of the day will start at 2:00 p.m.

Full schedule and ticket information can be found here.