The Mercer Museum is a history museum of everyday life in America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Henry Mercer (1856-1930) gathered the collection and constructed the Museum. The collection of some 40,000 objects documents the lives and tasks of early Americans through the tools that met their needs and wants prior to the Industrial Revolution, or about 1850. Visitors can choose their own paths through the Museum. Most of the 55 exhibit rooms and alcoves display the tools or products of an early American craft, trade or occupation. Other rooms show categories of objects such as lighting devices or architectural hardware.
Both Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle have permanent exhibits that bring history to life.
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In addition to installing his own Arts and Crafts tiles in Fonthill, Henry Mercer incorporated Persian, Chinese, Spanish and Dutch tiles.
Henry Mercer was 51 when he began building the first of his three concrete structures, his home Fonthill, 1908-1910.
The Mercer Museum and Fonthill annually welcome visitors from all 50 states.
There are 44 rooms in Fonthill including 10 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms and 18 fireplaces. Completed in 1910 Fonthill boasted modern conveniences- 2 dumbwaiters, an Otis elevator, an intercom buzzer system and phones to communicate within the house.
Fonthill has over 200 windows all of varying sizes!
“Lucy” the horse was part of the work crew that built both Fonthill and the Mercer Museum. She hoisted the loads of mixed concrete up to workers.
More than 60 Early American trades are represented in the Mercer Museum.
There are 44 rooms in Fonthill including 10 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms and 18 fireplaces.
All the concrete used to construct Fonthill (1908-1910) was mixed by hand!
The Research Library of the Mercer Museum houses over 20,000 books, 2500 feet of county archives, over 12,000 images and more!