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Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop
Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

Walk through the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, a restored 18th-century pharmacy, and experience the medicine of George Washington’s era. Period-clad docents explain the medical practices of the era and share medicinal uses of leeches, cobwebs, and snakeroot. You can even smell and touch the old-time medicines for a full sensory experience.

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1020 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22401

The Basics

The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop is one of the four Fredericksburg Washington Heritage Museums. You can purchase a ticket to the apothecary shop or choose the Heritage Pass, with admission to all of the Washington Heritage Museums, which are within walking distance of each other in historic downtown Fredericksburg. You can also explore the area via a horse and carriage tour, on which a guide shares details about the historic attractions along the way.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop is a must-see for medical and history enthusiasts.

  • It typically takes about 45 minutes to explore the museum and listen to the docent talks.

  • You can buy colonial-era books and postcards in the shop’s gift corner.

  • The apothecary is not wheelchair accessible due to the rise of three steps at the entrance to the building.

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How to Get There

The apothecary is located on the corner of Caroline and Amelia streets and can be easily reached on foot from downtown Fredericksburg. The historic town of Fredericksburg, Va., is located midway between Washington DC and Richmond, Va., about 60 miles (95 kilometers) from each.

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Trip ideas

When to Get There

The apothecary shop is open year-round (with the exception of major holidays) and hours vary by season. Visit in summer to enjoy events such as a public reading of the Declaration of Independence or one of the numerous other activities held at Washington Heritage Museums.

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The Washington Heritage Museums

The Washington Heritage Museums are managed by a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of Fredericksburg’s 18th-century properties. Alongside the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, the organization manages the Mary Washington House, once home to George Washington’s mother, Rising Sun Tavern, and St. James' House. Purchase a Heritage Pass to visit all four museums at a discount price.

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