Apparitions, Bucks County, Bucks County Pennsylvania, Doylestown, Doylestown Pennsylvania, Frank Swain, Ghost, Henry Chapman Mercer, Laura Swain, Mercer Museum, Pennsylvania, William Penn
Press play on the above video for a 22 second outside view of the Fonthill Mansion in Doylestown, PA. I have driven by this mansion countless times. My Aunt, Uncle and cousins lived about a mile and a half away, if that, and I would visit them several times a year. It always fascinated me. It’s architecture is simply amazing.
The Castle, which is a mix of Medieval, Gothic and Byzantine architecture was built between 1908 – 1912 and was the home of Henry Chapman Mercer, an archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, scholar and antiquarian. He used the mansion not only as his home but as a showcase for his collections of Moravian tiles and prints.
Henry passed in 1930, leaving the entire estate to his housekeeper and her husband, Laura and Frank Swain. Frank passed before Laura, who gave many tours throughout the time she owned the property. Laura died in 1975 and shortly thereafter, the property was placed in the hands of the Bucks County Historical Society and it has since been a museum that showcases not only it’s amazing architecture but collections of arts and tiles from Henry Mercer. Many tiles are a part of the architecture, mounted to the walls and ceiling. Upon visiting, you will see upwards of over 14,000 artifacts.
If you visit, you may catch a glimpse of Laura, wanting to give the tour herself. Her ghost has been seen wandering the halls on many occasions and by many visitors. I have read that paranormal investigators and digital equipment are not allowed inside the walls of the museum. Anything you wish to see will not be found online, you will have to venture out and tour the museum and Castle with your own eyes. And if you do, say hello to Laura for me.
I have been to the Mercer Library to conduct my own ancestry research as my roots run deep in Bucks County, PA all the way back to the mid 1700’s. My maternal grandfather’s family was sold land by William Penn’s children. The library and castle do not reside on the same property however but there is a great deal to see within the library walls as well. It is also worth a visit.
- Video #1, outside scanned view of the castle, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbaca7Zxslw / “Fonthill Castle.”
- Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle Website
- Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle – Fonthill Castle Collections (Website)
Janne Etz said:
I’ve been hearing a lot about ghosts lately…I guess it has to do with Halloween coming up? I love grand old architecture, I love the history of buildings and the people in them, so this was an interesting read for me! And how nice that Laura still wants to show people a good time in her home!
Janne, I have a fascination with ghosts, having had experiences myself since I was 13. I’ve always been at ease with it, BUT, I’m headed to the Haunted Victorian that I’ve done several pieces on this coming Friday and I think I may spook myself a little. Looking forward to it though. I would guess that you are hearing a lot because of Halloween. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am equally as fascinated by the stories behind the locations and who lived there in the past, having been a huge ancestry researcher in the past.
Bonnie Gean said:
I wish I could travel more. I’m striving to do that – by setting up my online business differently! I want to work and travel in an RV 🙂
Such a beautiful building! It would be lovely to catch a glimpse of Laura! 🙂 Have you seen her?
Bonnie Copeland Coaching said:
Such an amazing building! I can understand why Laura wouldn’t want to stop giving the tours and showing off the home she loved so much. Time to add another destination to my bucket list of places to visit. 🙂
Bonnie, Be sure if you visit that you have your camera out while driving there. Bucks County is one of the most beautiful areas I’ve ever been to. I just love it there, and not just because I have family there. The landscape, the old farms, it’s just amazing. Thank you for stopping by.
Barbara Boser said:
What an awesome historical and haunting place, I’d like to visit it sometime!
Barbara, I’m sure if you do, it will not disappoint. I remember the first time I laid eyes on it. It is completely out of place for the area, and that is saying something because I love Doylestown/Furlong.