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Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

Address: 1020 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone Number: 540 373 3362
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91%
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites, Shops, Shopping & Fashion, Sights & Landmarks
Owner description: This restored building portrays the colonial medical practice of Washington family friend, Dr. Hugh...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Historic Sites, Shops, Shopping & Fashion, Sights & Landmarks
Hours:
Sun 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Owner description: This restored building portrays the colonial medical practice of Washington family friend, Dr. Hugh Mercer. A native of Scotland, Mercer served in the French and Indian War before moving to Fredericksburg. He soon married, established an apothecary, and provided medical treatment for local citizens, including Mary Washington. A Brigadier General in the Revolution, the good doctor was at the Crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton. Upon learning that his friend had died from wounds suffered in the Battle of Princeton, a saddened George Washington called him "the brave and worthy Hugh Mercer."Captivating visitors of all ages, our guides use herbal remedies, crab claws, lancets, and live leeches to tell the stories of colonial medicine. Vivid descriptions of surgical practices are also provided.

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82 reviews from our community

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    48
    27
    6
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
39 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

Our group didn't have much time, so we passed on the 20-minute guided tour. Very small house, so don't need much time if you don't take the tour. The highlight for the kids was the bottle of large leeches!

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Stafford, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2014

Small shop that provides great insight into former medical practices and treatments. Pleasant personnel, nominal fee, interesting look into pre-modern medicine.

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Sayreville, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2014

The two women dressed in colonial garb and speaking as if the year was 1776 were really informative, with a bit of humor, too. One room had the herbs and old fashioned medicines, which you were allowed to smell if you wanted to. The woman related things to modern times, but still stayed in character; when I told her I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
virginia
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
97 attraction reviews
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

We saw 4 places on a Timeless Pass from the Visitors Center, and this one is excellent. Plenty to entertain the kids. Excellent interpreter. Live leeches! Lots of medical tools! Fun visit.

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Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

I am a Fredericksburg resident who always insists my visitors take in the apothecary shop tour if they have time. Visitors of all ages enjoy learning how a "drug store" in George Washington's day operated, guided by costumed interpreters who are very entertaining. The show and tell with live leeches is especially fascinating to children. It is a small building... More 

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Plymouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014

The two members of staff on duty gave us a fascinating insight into dealing with health issues in the 1700s. The leeches were amazing along with the primitive ways of amputation - how things have progressed! Well worth a visit.

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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
35 attraction reviews
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2014

Loved this special piece of history. The guides were dressed in period dress and were so passionate and authentic- it was truly a special experience. You must visit! Best recommendation I can give is to visit the visitors centre and get a day pass and you can visit as many of these places as you like for only $16!

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
40 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2014

You enter the shop and are greeted from some hundred years back. The doctor's out but his assistant give you all advice on ointments etc available at the time. Done in a highly entertaining way you get to think of how much has happened in the medical field. Oh, and they had fresh Swedish leaches. Very entertaining and fun

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New Jersey
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
11 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

We didn't know what to expect upon visiting this shop, but were welcomed immediately and soon in the historic times as presented by our actor/guide explaining the basic, often home grown medications, including leaches, available for a variety of aliments. Highly recommded stop, and two guides on our visit readily mixed in new and earlier visitors so there was almost... More 

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Pittsburgh PA
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
22 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

The Apothecary Shop was one of our favorite tours. They greet you in time period clothing and talk to you as if you are a customer. They show you a variety of herbal items and explain how they were used, mixed with other items for what ails your. They do pass around some of the bottles etc..for you to see... More 

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