A cub scout trip to the Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle

Josh and I attended one of the summer cub scout pack activities organized by one of the parents. A number of us drove out to Doylestown, PA, to visit the Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle. I had never heard of either, and probably neither of you. We live in Mercer county here in NJ, but it seems there was once an America archaeologist by the name of Henry Chapman Mercer. Is there a connection? Hmm, I wonder.

Anywho, in the morning, Josh and I dressed up, picked up a bagged lunch from our local Wawa for Doylestown, PA. After driving what seemed like a long time through windy rural roads, we eventually made it to the Mercer Museum. A sea of “Do Your Best” cub scout shirts were sitting and waiting prior to entering the museum. The kids first made old school wooden candle holders, then we took a tour of the museum itself. The museum is basically Mercer’s own idea of a museum to capture what life was like back in the late 1800s in NJ — whether you were a farmer or other laborer.  The Mercer Museum houses over forty thousand artifacts from early American society.

After the tour, the kids took turns racing their Matchbox cars, then we had a picnic lunch outside. Josh and I went back in to check out the Mercer Museum’s “Route 66″ exhibit. We then took a drive to Fonthill Castle, the former home of Henry Chapman Mercer. We took a tour of the exterior, the kids made castles out of various supplies, and then learned about catapults and trebuchets. The boys also had a chance to operate both a small-scale catapult and trebuchet. A good trip, and very informative.

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