The Conococheague Institute

Museum .. Library .. Gardens .. Gift Shop



...Exploring the clash and integration of cultures on the Conococheague frontier...


Enjoy our site from dawn to dusk daily! We are located at 12995 Bain Road, Mercersburg, PA 17236. Business hours, including the research library and historic house tours, are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment. The site is open year-round. Contact us to arrange for group tours or private events at 717-328-3467.


Click below to begin searching our On-Line Catalog, including library materials and museum collections. The On-line Catalog is a work in progress, currently holding 10% of our data. If you don't find what you need in the catalog, please call us at 717-328-3467 for further search options.

Click Here

Sign into Accessible Archives!


CI is pleased to offer its members on-line access to the full-text history database Accessible Archives through March 2016. To begin your research, login by clicking here Members must provide a password to log in. If you don’t have a password, contact CI staff at 717-328-3467 or <>.

Welcome to the Conococheague Institute

The Conococheague Institute serves as a regional center for developing and fostering awareness, understanding and stewardship of the cultural and natural history of the Appalachian frontier of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. We strive to achieve our mission through education, research and preservation.


Local people pronounce the Native American word “Conococheague”: CONICA (rhymes with "Monica") JIG (like the Irish dance). In 1822, Conococheague was defined as meaning, “long indeed, very long indeed.”


We are headquartered within Rock Hill Farm, a well-preserved historic farmstead that was established in the early 18th century in southern Franklin County, Pennsylvania, near the village of Welsh Run. Our 30-acre site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes two historic house museums with outbuildings, a research library, two relocated historic log structures, a replica Eastern Woodland Indian village, walking trails with access to a pioneer cemetery, and several historic gardens. 

NEW: Driving Tour of Sites & Chronology for Conococheague 

Uprising of 1765, by Dan Guzy

Conococheague, Pontiac's War, French & Indian War, Conococheague Institute, Pennsylvania History, Franklin County PA, Dan Guzy
Massacre of Conococheague

[Click on the image above to download printer-friendly "Conococheague Uprising" driving directions!]

In the course of developing the “Conococheague Uprising Bus Tour,” local author Dan Guzy turned his research into the book, The Black Boys Uprising of 1765: Traders, Troops and “Rioters” during Pontiac’s War. The bus tour of local sites affiliated with the Black Boys’ history, guided by Dan Guzy and CI Historian Calvin Bricker, took place on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Afterwards, Dan Guzy turned the bus tour into a simple-to-follow driving tour, which you are welcome to replicate following the directions, below. CI is tremendously grateful to Dan Guzy for his tireless research on the Black Boys Uprising!


The musical ensemble, Greenwood Muse, provided a recording of O Ye Patriots Who Love to Sing, a song that was written about the Black Boys Uprising and first published in James Smith’s autobiography. Dan Guzy played this recording during the bus tour. Members of Greenwood Muse have graciously authorized CI to provide copies of this recording upon request. Should you wish to hear the song, contact CI staff at 717-328-3467 or

What’s This Rural History Festival at Rock Hill Farm? by Tad Miller

For the last decade the Conococheague Institute has held a Colonial Fair every September. It was a good event, but it only looked at the years of the French and Indian War in the 1750s. However, we have so much more histo­ry in this area to share with visitors.


Did you know that the Rock Hill Farm, the site of the Con-ococheague Institute, was an active farm from the 1750s to the 1990s? The old fair missed out on over 200 years of our history. So, we have created a new event: the “Rural History Festival at Rock Hill Farm” (RHF@RHF) that will pick up where the old Colonial Fair left off. This September 12th and 13th the new festival will kick off.


So what can you expect? The new festival will look at lives of the people who lived in the area from the 1750s to the mid-20th century. It will be spread across the CI site and will focus on the Native Peoples and their use of the land; the pre-Revolutionary War era and early farm­ing by the settlers; the American War of Independence and how that affected farming; the 1820s and the effect of the Industrial Revolution on rural communities; and the Civil War to the 20th century and its changing effect on horses and other domestic animals. You will also find children’s games, food vendors, craft demonstrations, displays, music and more.


Want to be a part of this new event? We can use your help. We need people who do demonstrations, give talks, or set up displays that relate to farming and rural life. You can be a costumed reenactor or just come in your mod­ern clothes. If you are willing to help or know someone that is, let us know. You can contact me at miller1t@ya­


We are looking for people who can display tractors and other farm equipment, who can demonstrate crafts such as quilting, woodworking, milking or shear­ing, making apple cider or apple butter or other crafts (you can even sell your wares if you demonstrate). We are also looking for people who can give talks about rural subjects such as heirloom gardening, changes in farming over the years or food in wartime. If you had a Victory Gar­den or remember rationing now is the time to share your memories with the younger generations. If you have an idea for a display or demonstration let me know.


It’s going to be a great event and we hope to see you there as a volunteer or visitor on September 12th and 13th.

French and Indian war, Conococheague Institute, Braddock's defeat, Pennsylvania militia, Native Americans
Conococheague Institute, Library collections, Blunston License
Conococheague Institute, Gardens, Roses, Rock Hill Farm, Davis-Chambers House
Welsh Barrens Visitors Center, Gift Shop, Conococheague Institute, Wooden toys, Folk toys, beeswax candles, handmade soaps, handicrafts
Gift Shop