Friday, April 3, 2020

Moravian Tile Works & Fonthill Castle

Posted by Stu On March - 13 - 2016

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Photos from 3/13

I drove by this a few times on the way to New Hope and was curious what exactly it was.  After being assigned a paper for a Museum Studies class and randomly choosing Fonthill Castle from a list of local museums, I got my answer.  Henry Chapman Mercer, who owned both Fonthill Castle and the adjacent Moravian Tile Works (as well as the Mercer Museum elsewhere in Doylestown) was a wealthy archaeologist, anthropologist, and lover of history.  Fonthill Castle was his home and now serves as a museum.  Unfortunately, it was closed the day we stopped by, but the Moravian Tile Works were open.  The Tile Works are a living history site, with workers making products as they were made nearly 200 years ago.  I was intrigued by the architecture of the place, which consists of a mix of several styles from previous civilizations.

I’m aware I’m not really providing all that much information or history here.  Again, I didn’t get to tour the castle, and I really don’t know much about Moravians.  I just thought the place looked cool and was interested in the living history aspect of it.  I encourage you to research Mr. Mercer on your own and perhaps visit the 3 places related to him.

The tile works are closest to the road and what originally caught my eye.










Fonthill Castle is found behind the tile works.







Popularity: 4% [?]

Haunted House in Riegelsville

Posted by Stu On April - 9 - 2009

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In all the years I’ve been doing this, the first time I ever had anything happen to me that I could not explain was in this house. I won’t say it’s supernatural; I will say I cannot explain it. That’s all you’re getting out of me for now, ghost lovers. Maybe some day.

The town of Riegelsville, PA, is supposed to be very, very haunted. I met a local author who wrote Ghosts in the ‘Vllle and More Ghosts in the ‘Ville, and he and his friends were kind enough to let me tour one of the more famous sites in town. This particular house is between the town’s library and a church, the very church where the author just happens to be a pastor.

From what I was told, a few entities take up residence at this house. One, a woman whose name I forget, is quite friendly and also makes her presence known in the adjacent church. Supposedly there is a malevolent, older man here as well. I don’t remember much of his backstory, unfortunately.

The church uses the house as storage and the first floor is somewhat of an office, so the building isn’t completely abandoned. So needless to say, the first floor was rather tame. The second floor was slightly creepier I guess, with darker rooms and random things lying around. The third floor was just eerie, and that’s also where I had my ‘experience.’ While going up the stairs to the third floor, I suddenly became dizzy and felt nauseous for a few seconds. My guide told me it happens to a lot of people and that it’s the ‘bad guy’ I mentioned earlier.

Stairs leading to 2nd floor.

Rooms on the 2nd floor.

Stairs going to the 3rd floor. At the top of these is where the sickness feeling tends to strike people, including me.

The author of the aforementioned books also has an official website: Ghosts in the ‘Ville.

Popularity: 10% [?]

Van Sant Covered Bridge

Posted by Stu On September - 27 - 2008

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It’s no secret I like covered bridges. Whenever I come across one, I tend to post it. This one, however, is a special case, at least according to folklore. For years I have heard of “crybaby bridges” – haunted bridges, usually covered, where you can hear crying. The crying is usually either a baby or its mother, sometimes both. There are many crybaby bridge story variations, but they all end up with either the baby or the mother getting tossed from the bridge. The mother may toss an unwanted baby from the bridge. The mother may jump off herself after a miscarriage or unwanted pregnancy. The list goes on.

Anyway, this particular bridge is considered one of the originals, if not the first “crybaby” bridge. It has a lot of stories attached to it and has become a popular hangout over the years. In fact, it’s illegal to be there at night, due to the high level of vandalism the bridge has endured.

I’d like to point out that while I was there, I saw or heard nothing unusual, other than the bridge being slightly crooked. There were also a few construction guys working on the road around the bridge. Maybe ghosts don’t like bright orange.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Bowman’s Hill Tower

Posted by Stu On September - 27 - 2008

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Found in Pennsylvania’s part of Washington’s Crossing State Park (just up the road from the Revolutionary Soldiers’ graves, actually), is a 125′ tall tower on Bowman’s Hill. It was completed in 1931 and is in honor of George Washington, as well as the hill’s significance as a lookout during the Revolution. There’s not much else to say, other than the view from the top is nice. I was a bit bummed to find out you have to take the elevator up; no one is allowed to take the steps anymore.

When we came to this park in 4th grade, a group of us were at a nearby picnic area and saw the tower up on the hill. We attempted to climb up the side of the hill, but it was a bit too steep and one of us came tumbling right back down. He got cut up pretty good too. The teacher was pissed. It was funny.

You only climb 23 steps from the elevator to the top.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Front Yard Revolutionary Soldiers’ Graves

Posted by Stu On June - 21 - 2005

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While there isn’t very much to see here, anyone interested in this period of time will appreciate this. We were driving around the area by the Ringing Rocks when we stumbled upon this. Please keep in mind this is in someone’s front yard. I noticed 3 small posts sticking out of the ground. Closer examination revealed them to be graves of Revolutionary soldiers. The stones themselves were still there….sort of. One was a stub sticking out of the ground; another was toppled over but still in pretty good shape.

Popularity: 3% [?]

Ringing Rocks

Posted by Stu On June - 21 - 2005

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I was sent a link not too long ago for a small park in Bucks County, PA. It’s called Ringing Rocks because the rocks do just that….they ring. Well, some of them. I’d love to know who first figured out to do this, but we were told if you hit the rocks with a hammer, some will ring and can produce different tones. We had to check it out, so off we went.
We didn’t have a hammer with us, but we did have the next best thing – a tire iron. It worked just as well, if not better, than anyone we saw with a hammer. One guy was using a smaller rock and got the best sounds out of all of us.

As you can see, the well forested trail just stops….at a field of rocks & boulders. These are the Ringing Rocks. The large white sections on them are from hammer strikes.

If you don’t like bugs, don’t go to Ringing Rocks. We saw numerous wolf spiders & giant millipedes on the rocks:

At one point it looks like the rocks end, but there’s actually another field of them behind the first.

Popularity: 4% [?]

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