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One of Pennsylvania's three original counties, Bucks County has more than 300 years of history within its 622 square miles. William Penn and George Washington are among the famous faces that have left their mark here. Today, the county's history comes to life through its many historic sites and museums.
MUSEUMS AND HISTORIC PARKS
• Experience life in Colonial America at Pennsbury Manor, the reconstructed home of Pennsylvania's founder William Penn. Volunteers help recreate 17th century life through living history demonstrations during the park's Sundays at Pennsbury program. The 43-acre estate includes several outbuildings, including the stables that house the park's team of oxen and flock of sheep.
• Learn how America won its independence at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The park's brand new Visitor Center houses artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of George Washington's midnight crossing of the Delaware River and the "10 crucial days" that followed. To delve deeper into the American Revolution, visit the David Library of the American Revolution, a nearby research library specializing in history from 1750-1800.
• One year after the Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River, General Washington used the Moland House as his headquarters. It was here that the Marquis de Lafayette and Casimir Pulaski joined the Continental Army.Stop by for a guided tour of the historical house that played a large role in the course of the Revolutionary War.
• Take a trip through America's past at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown. Henry Chapman Mercer spent his life collecting bits of Americana, everything from cigar store Indians and spinning wheels to antique carriages and boats. Mercer's display is as unique as his collection, with items hanging from the ceiling and suspended in the air in the large central atrium of his six-story concrete castle.
• The Mercer Museum is just one of three concrete castles built by Henry Mercer. Fonthill Castle, Mercer's palatial home, now houses a collection of artwork and original tiles from the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works. Mercer founded the Tile Works in 1898, and today the Bucks County Parks department runs it as a living history museum, where artisans still make tiles using the same methods perfected by Mercer more than a century ago.
• Tour the village that time forgot at Historic Fallsington. The 300-year-old village preserves six centuries-old structures, including a hand-hewn Log house, Federal-style Townhouse, Tavern and General Store.
• Visit the home of a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author at the Pearl S. Buck House and Historic Site. Humanitarian author Pearl S. Buck devoted her life to bettering the lives of children across the globe. Today, her house stands as a tribute to her life and work, offering tours and educational programs to visitors.
• Take a walk along the course of history at Delaware Canal State Park, the only fully intact canal from the 19th century in the United States. The 60-mile canal and towpath is still complete, stretching from the Lehigh River in Easton to the mouth of the Delaware River in Bristol. Stop by the Delaware Canal Locktender's House in New Hope to see the "Life at the Lock" exhibit depicting life along the Canal in the late 1800s.
• The Greek revival architecture of Andalusia, a palatial estate overlooking the Delaware River is sure to inspire awe in all visitors.
• Bolton Mansion has stood in Levittown for nearly 300 years, and tours of the historic stone house are available by appointment.
• The Haycock Historical Society preserves and operates the Stokes House as a museum of Haycock Township history outside Quakertown.
• The Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Museum in Bristol is a snapshot of life in the Gundy family mansion in the 1880s.
• Built in the 1770s, Summerseat served as home to two signers of the Declaration of Independence: Robert Morris and George Clymer. It now serves as the home for the Historic Morrisville Society.
• The Sellersville Museum, an 1875 two-story schoolhouse, has six decorated period rooms and special exhibits.
• Stover-Myers Mill was built in the early 1800s and produced flour and lumber for more than 150 years. The mill is now a National Historic Place.