Doylestown and Covered Bridges Tour
Doylestown Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
June 21st, 2006 – by: mahoney
My first destination was Fonthill, the all concrete home of Henry Mercer (1856-1930). He built Fonthill as his home between 1908 and 1912. The concrete castle boasts 44 rooms, 18 fireplaces and more than 200 windows of varying size and shape. The interior walls, floors and ceilings are elaborately adorned with an incredible array of Mercer's original handcrafted tiles. Recently featured on A&E's "America's Castles.
Headed into the borough of Doylestown. It is located about 34 miles north of Philadelphia. Doylestown's origins date to 1745 when William Doyle obtained a license to build a tavern on what is presently the northwest corner of Main and State Streets. Known for years as "William Doyle's Tavern", its strategic location at the intersection of the road linking Swede's Ford (Norristown) and Coryell's Ferry (New Hope) (now U.S. Route 202) and the road linking Philadelphia and Easton (now PA Route 611) - allowed the hamlet to blossom into a village.
First stop in the town was Mercer Museum (getting the feeling Mercer was a rich person?) Again, didn't go inside. (OK, let me explain something here, I just don't like museums, there nice and all, but unless it is something really extraordinary, I just get very bored in them. And paying $5 to be rushed through in 20 minutes isn't my idea of having a good time.) Besides, the grounds are very nice and you can get some pretty good photos.
Went downtown and had some lunch at Maxwell B's. Good food, cute waitresses. After lunch, took a walking tour of the historic area, or as one resident told me, the entire town is historic. Loved the different styles of houses, most of which have been turned into businesses. Ended up at a church cemetery where this woman was trying to take a photo of a grave stone.
Spent about 30 minutes showing her how to use her little Olympus camera properly. Even made her take some photos the way I just told her too. She was overjoyed that she was able to get the text from the grave stone to show up the way she wanted it to. She thanked me and got into her car and left. I really need to keep to myself ;)
I had found a brochure that talked about all the covered bridges in Bucks County. So, I plugged the locations into the GPS and went off bridge hunting. The guide had 7 bridges listed, I forget how long the trek was, but one thing it didn't mention is that all the bridges pretty much look the same. So, after 5 bridges, I gave up and headed across the Delaware River to the New Jersey side and took a nice drive to Trenton, NJ and back to my sister's house.
Overall, a very nice day, great weather for the most part and was able to absorb the feeling of being walking in the footsteps of our early settlers.
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