The little stone house is near Fonthill Castle, the home of Henry Chapman Mercer. Originally part of the Bestler tract of land purchased by Mercer in 1907, the house was restored by him in 1916, with the inscription below in Mercer tiles under the roof line. There is also a charming tile with an image of a bird at top center which reads “Silva Vocat” (“The Forest Calls.”)
In May 1917, the Doylestown Nature Club began using the building for meetings and to store its archives. After many years, unfortunately, the little house fell into disrepair and has undergone much damage from vandalism and the elements.
The forest, and the house, are now calling for our assistance. One evening, several of us began talking in a Facebook group about a little stone house in the woods near Henry Chapman Mercer’s Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA. An article about the history of the house was posted.
That night, we began our group, which grew to over 100 members in just over a week. We’ve been in touch with several people and have offered to help with everything from fundraising to hands-on assistance with cleaning and, we hope, restoration of the little house. The efforts are, we hope, moving in a positive direction.
We’ve set up this site as a home for the little stone house online. Welcome!