Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, Fredericksburg: Hours, Address, Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop Reviews: 4.5/5

Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop
4.5
Historic Sites • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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About
This 18th-century building restored as the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop presents a vivid living history interpretation of Revolutionary-era medical practices. Leeches, lancets, and snakeroot are all found in this 18th-century doctor's office and pharmacy. Visitors can hear about the popular treatment of the day for a lady's hysteria or a medicine so potent that it would, according to one wealthy plantation owner "cheer a man with a bad wife." The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop is one of the Washington Heritage Museums and is within short walking distance of its other sites: the Mary Washington House, Rising Sun Tavern, and St. James' House. Please allow 45 minutes for your visit.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
220 reviews
Excellent
134
Very good
69
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Kate Illinois1
Illinois4,113 contributions
Admission included with the Day Pass. The staff are in period costume and happily explaining the methods and ingredients used in the Colonial version of medicine with purging pills, laudanum, magnesia, snakeroot, crab claws and stomach elixirs. Mercer's treatments included bleeding and purging in order to achieve this equilibrium. You will recognize many of these ingredients that he dispensed. Very entertaining and engaging with the audience. Interestingly Dr. Mercer used a sandstone rock to filter the water for his medicines in 1760's.
Hugh Mercer, an immigrant from Scotland and survivor of the Battle of Culloden, lived and practiced medicine in Fredericksburg for over 15 years. His most famous patient was Mary Washington. Along with George Washington, Patrick Henry, and James Monroe, Hugh Mercer attended gatherings in the Rising Sun Tavern to discuss American Independence. When the Revolution began, Mercer became a Brigadier General in the Continental Army, playing a key role in both battles of Trenton. He was with Washington during the famous crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night of 1776 and died of bayonet wounds at the Battle of Princeton a few days later.
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

podrozniczka60
New Jersey14,393 contributions
Hugh Mercer was inspired by Washington to establish an Apothecary store in Fredericksburg which he did in early 1770s. This interesting tour allowed for understanding how pharmacy and medicine functioned in 18th century. Very well conveyed by the docents. If time allows this should be a landmark to explore while in Fredericksburg.
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CateV1992
Fairfax, VA54 contributions
Family
We barely made it before closing, and it turned out to be the highlight of our visit to Old Town Fredericksburg. If you are planning on visiting here, be sure to schedule at least 45 minutes. The "tour" is really comprised of two parts: the apothecary presentation and the doctor office visit. The docents are very knowledgeable and entertain questions to a high degree of satisfaction. My teens and upper elementary kids were speechless in response to the impressive apothecary presentation we received. NOTE: The apothecary presentation was a little fast and young children will not derive much from it. The woman that day had a delivery like a firehose. There are hands-on opportunities and as a family that practices natural medicine, validating moments for parents. The doctor office visit is equally interesting, with opportunity for questions which are met with a wealth of information. Very worthwhile!
Written October 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GeeZee
Deer Park, TX508 contributions
On our two days in Fredericksburg, we stopped in this little museum of a recreated 18th C pharmacy and dr's office in an 18th C building. There were two ladies dressed in 18th C style dress. One gave a talk on the herbs and plants used to treat illnesses and discomforts and actually got to see and smell some of these concoctions that were used to treat people from the pharmacy counter. Then we were led into another room which was a treatment room for more intense treatments such as the old practice of bleeding people with leeches. The lady re-enactor actually had a jar full of water with leeches in it and showed us various crude (by todays standards) surgical and dental instruments and she gave an interesting talk on the general health of people from that time period. I highly recommend stopping in here for an hour and visiting the world of 18th C medicine and treatments. $5.00 admission. Located in the old historic district so is close walking distance to other attractions, museums, shops and restaurants.
Written July 16, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

exodus
boston,ma56 contributions
Couples
So interesting ..........the docent showed us medical tools from the early 1700's and she had live leeches and explained how and why they used them.
Then another docent brought us into another room and showed us natural remedies that the Dr would use. Things we still use today.
I recommend this tour!
Written December 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carolyn M
Gourock, UK30 contributions
Friends
We visited on the recommendation of the Visitor Centre and it was great! Kimberley and her friend were so knowledgeable about all the remedies and procedures from a 28th Century Virginia doctor. The ladies were friendly and really got into character! I'm sure this would be great for kids too!
Written September 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Thomas K
Hummelstown, PA91 contributions
Couples
Two authentically costumed living history women provided an excellent demonstration of colonial American medicines and medical treatments. The front room has a long table covered with bottles of various plants and herbs which were used to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries in early America. One lady showed us each bottle and explained its use. She explained how Dr. Mercer made pills. The other lady directed us to the doctor’s office. She discussed such practices as bloodletting, dental extractions, and amputations as she showed us leeches and various medical tools. After their presentations, we were able to view and read information about Hugh Mercer and his family. The woman who greeted us at entry was quick to offer us AAA discounts. Allow 45 minutes for a thorough visit.
Written September 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Winner48
Leesburg, FL17 contributions
Friends
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.
Written June 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bathfurnituredsgnr
Collierville, TN631 contributions
Family
The rein-actors do a fantastic job of describing the medicines of the day. They let you smell them as they explain their uses. Very informative!

Regular Price $7 for adults. & $3 for ages 6-18

GO TO THE VISITORS CENTER & BUY THE TIMELESS TICKET IF VISITING MORE THAN 3 PLACES IN TOWN! HUGE DEAL! See attached pics for the breakdown.
Written September 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leighann B
Richmond, Virginia, United States43 contributions
Family
When our kids were younger, we always made it a point to visit the Apothecary when we were in Fredericksburg. The stories of 18th Century dentistry, amputations, and seeing real live leeches made history interesting to our 3 young boys. (Although we've been to scores of museums over the years, it's one of the few that our now-grown sons remember much about.)

Last weekend we visited the museum with two of our sons, and the information and presentations were just as much fun as they were 10 years ago. The costumed docents go to great effort to make the tour relevant to today. For example, you can go into any drug store and find valerian root for sleep and calcium carbonate for an upset stomach. Guess what? They were prescribing the same thing in the 18th century. The story of Hugh Mercer is fascinating, but I think the displays and explanations of 18th Century medicine are what makes this museum such a unique treasure.

The tour is less than an hour and the museum accepts AAA discounts. I would highly recommend visiting this little gem at the corner of Amelia and Caroline Streets for a fun and informative tour.
Written September 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Mon - Mon 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wed - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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