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Aldie Urn


“This glazed earthenware vessel was used in the kitchen at the home of William Mercer. It was used to hold spring water for cooking and drinking and was refilled daily. It had a white canvas cover that was dipped in hot paraffin wax and a dipper was hung nearby.”

The above description was provided by Augustus Charles Elfman, a respected builder in the Doylestown area who was contracted to raze the original Aldie, an imposing Victorian-style home where brothers Henry and William Mercer grew up. (The present mansion, built in 1927, is the second Aldie, built on the property along Old Dublin Pike where the original home stood.)

While doing the demolition, Elfman salvaged several artifacts. Among them was this urn, which was donated in 2014 to the Doylestown Historical Society by Tuck Elfman, grandson of Augustus.

You, too, can help us continue to preserve the history of Doylestown. Share your donations of artifacts, old photos, postcards, yearbooks and high school memorabilia, books about the town, souvenirs and any other items of interest on Art, Artifacts and Memorabilia Day. Please search your attics, closets and basements, and bring what you can find to the Doylestown Historical Society’s outdoor kiosk, 56 South Main Street, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 15.

Photo of Aldie from the Jeffrey Hamilton postcard collection