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Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

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Address: 1020 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone Number: 540 373 3362
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10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Open now
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Sun 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

This restored building portrays the colonial medical practice of...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 95 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 55
  • 31
    Very good
  • 7
  • 1
  • 1
An enjoyable stop...and leeches too!

This is a great little find in downtown Fredericksburg. Costumed interpreters talk about the 1770s and the use of medicines, surgery, and leeches. They usually have live leeches... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 13, 2015
Chris W
Spotsylvania, Virginia
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95 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

This is a great little find in downtown Fredericksburg. Costumed interpreters talk about the 1770s and the use of medicines, surgery, and leeches. They usually have live leeches there for you to see (my kids LOVE this part). There is a small upstairs that has a men's "powder room" (for wigs) that must be accessed by foot (wheels won't work)... More 

Thank Chris W
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Level Contributor
129 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

This is a unique little tour that has a little something for everyone. The main room has a vast array of remedies used by the people of that time; the docent vivedly describes all of them in great detail. The room adjacent is where operating procedures were preformed; the guide explains the techniques of the day and how leeches were... More 

Thank JFK49
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2015

This was so much fun! The docents were in 1700s character but not in s cheesy way. After hearing about the medical remedies during the 1700s, one has to wonder how humanity survived! This is a great place for adults and can be engaging for children. The children on our tour were having a ball.

Thank BookishAnnie
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

This is a must-do in the Fredericksburg area--not something I've seen elsewhere. It's cheap and doesn't take a huge time commitment--an hour, max. And, it's very interesting for all ages. When you walk in, you are greeted as a patient of Dr. Mercer--and informed by the nurse wench that he's currently out. She then will discuss the ways and means... More 

Thank JudyM31
Leesburg, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2015

Opened at 9. We arrived at 9:30 and guide would not give us tour since she was waiting for a group that was already 20 min late. Nor would she allow us to wait inside. Returned at 11:30 and were told we could not join tour. Not welcoming guides.

Thank Winner48
Hampton, Virginia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015

[My wife and I just returned home from leading a group of 50 seniors from our church on a four-day, charter bus outing to the Elkins, WV area. This was one of many places we visited during our trip and the review is oriented to our experience travelling by bus as a large group.] This Civil War era historic apothecary... More 

Thank billb-1111
cincinnati, ohio
Level Contributor
126 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015

Hugh Mercer's life story is a tale of adventure like few others - doctor, rebel, soldier, rebel a second time, and patriot dying from bayonet wounds just before the Battle of Princeton which he precipitated. To fully appreciate the man and his shop, you need to read the Wikipedia entry about him. The shop is at the north end of... More 

Thank bassbum
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

Costumed guides give you a tour of Dr. Mercer's apothecary and surgery in Fredericksburg, Va. The tour is only $5- even less if you have taken the trolley tour- and it provides an eye-opening view of the world of colonial medicine. First, you are taken on a tour of remedies the doctor likes to prescribe. Whether it's too much saliva,... More 

Thank Carol W
mechanicsburg pa.
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015

We were fascinated with the different herbs and things that were used to help people back in that time period, also the instruments they used to "bleed " people. gross but interesting!!!!! Worth a visit.

Thank ana2747
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
73 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015

This was the best tour in Fredericksburg. The tour guides were dressed in period costumes and spoke in character the entire time. They were excellent and presented a lot of interesting information. I give credit to the one tour guide who put a leech on her hand while telling us about medical treatments done by Hugh Mercer.

Thank moose444

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