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
12:00 - 16:00
Monday
12:00 - 16:00
Wednesday
12:00 - 16:00
Thursday
12:00 - 16:00
Friday
12:00 - 16:00
Saturday
12:00 - 16:00
Sunday
12:00 - 16:00
About
This 18th-century building restored as the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop presents a vivid living history interpretation of Colonial 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 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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The area
Address
How to get there
  • Fredericksburg Station • 10 min walk
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Popular mentions

4.5
218 reviews
Excellent
133
Very good
68
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
2

TBMutiny
Woodstock, GA188 contributions
Wonderful visit
Sep 2021
Well worth the $7 admission. You will be given a tour about how an apothecary functioned in the 1770’s. Your guide will treat you to a bonanza of colonial cures and surgery procedures. Absolutely informative when one starts to compare 1770 to 2021.
The two guides played their roles very well and my 30 minute tour was wonderful.
Gentleman, don’t forget your wig so it can be powdered.
Written 18 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

K.S.
Chicago, IL101 contributions
Interesting tour; somewhat short
Aug 2021
This was a good tour, although somewhat short. We had two different tour guides and my father, who has hearing disabilities, had trouble understanding our first tour guide- she spoke very quickly and quietly and seemed rushed the whole time she was talking. Our second tour guide took over in the second room and she was great; she detailed the medical leeches and what the doctor's practice was like in colonial America. The whole of the tour was interesting; although I think it would have been just as interesting as a historic site and overview without the guides trying to stay in character.
Written 31 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

William T
Culpeper, VA553 contributions
This is a must see!
Aug 2021
Seeing and learning about leeches, getting to smell many of the "meds" of that day and so much more made this a great visit. Our docent Susan was wonderful and kept our 10 & 12 year old grandkids interested. Learning about Hugh Mercer, an amazing doctor who lost his life on the battlefield in the Revolution while serving as a general under Washington.
Written 25 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carol757
Springfield, VA3,517 contributions
Excellent guides
Apr 2021
The guides are wonderful and provide a very thorough description of the various medicinal uses of plants in 1700s. It's well worth a stop if you're in Fredericksburg for the day.
Written 11 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kate Illinois1
Chicago, Illinois3,388 contributions
Fun stop because of the staff
May 2021
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 28 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Glen M
Smithsburg, MD385 contributions
A unique view of historic medicine
Aug 2019
The guide knew a lot not only about the building, but also the medical practices of the time, and the use of various herbs and chemicals. Learned a lot.
Written 10 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CShawver
Newport News, VA42 contributions
Delightful tour!
Feb 2020
A great tour indeed! The guides spoke in colonial terms and added several key notes of historical importance into their presentation. Lots of humor was tossed in and the presentation was very impressive.
Written 16 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JE01
Silver Spring, MD445 contributions
A gem.
Great spot. The interpreters were great. They were both vey knowledgable and fun to interact with. The tour was about 30 minutes and gave some real insights into colonial medicine. Hugh Mercer was a highly regarded Revolutionary War general who was killed at the battle of Princeton. This is a good stop for adults and kids.
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

yojomcnealey
Los Angeles, CA12 contributions
Something Different
Oct 2019
The Hugh Mercer Shop was very interesting. The presentation was well done and in a tone which was to be a replica of the 1770's. The house is unique and the stairwell is for the well balanced.

We thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and the unique medical habits of the early days.
Written 24 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joe VanDevender
Fredericksburg, VA96 contributions
Takes you back in time.
Sep 2019
I like looking at old things and this place had a lot of different items on display. the ladies made the visit very interesting..
Written 10 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop is open:
  • Wed - Mon 12:00 - 16:00


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