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.

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Dear Members and Friends of The Conococheague Institute:


Since 1994, the Conococheague Institute has been devoted to its mission to educate, explore and preserve. Preservation rose to the top of the list when our c.1830s Negley Log House was destroyed by fire in 2016. The destructive blaze gave us pause to remember that this type of disaster would not have been an unusual occurrence for our pioneer forebearers. By that afternoon, we had already accepted the reality and decided that we would rebuild. While we will never be able to replace some of the precious artifacts that were lost, we committed to re-create the house so we may continue to use it as our premier interpretation space. A ribbon cutting ceremony in May 2017 marked the rebuild completion.

There are constantly new, exciting discoveries being made on the 250-year agricultural history of Rock Hill Farm.


It was the dreams and determination of the Welsh, Scots-Irish and German immigrants that led to advancements in farming that were as radical in their time as the iEverything is today. Those ancestors moved this land from wilderness into a great nation. It is their story of American Exceptionalism that sets the framework for today, and we believe that is worth preserving and teaching to future generations.


Although C.I. is a historical site, there is a constant state of change and transition as we grow our collections and seek the most up-to-date ways to reach a diverse audience. 2016 was the first time we hosted two events that were not primarily focused on historical representations. The Swine, Wine & Roses wine and beer festival brought many new people to the site, and the benefit concert by local country music singer/songwriter Jill Fulton and the Tall, Blond & Thirsty Band showed what a fabulous concert location we have. The sun setting behind the musicians was magical! 

To be sure, we did not abandon our living history roots as shown by the "Terror on the Conococheague" reenactment of the capture of Jean Lowry and her children complete with the "burning" of Fort McCord. And, our Christmas Open House with the houses decorated in period style was the perennial crowd pleaser.

Facilities maintenance, quality programming, staff salaries, publications, and the administration of our research library, historic house museums, and artifact collections all require funding. Please take a moment to consider making a donation to The Conococheague Institute. 


Your support now will help us achieve our mission to share knowledge and encourage scholarship of the inhabitants of the Conococheague Frontier through preservation, education and research. If you have been considering a gift or a pledge to The Conococheague Institute, now is the time!


Your tax-deductible gift of any size does make a difference. As a more lasting gift, you may wish to consider remembering C.I. in your estate planning. I would be happy to speak with you about opportunities available to assure future generations remember our shared heritage.


You can donate online through PayPal, or mail a check payable to The Conococheague Institute to 12995 Bain Road, Mercersburg, PA 17236. 


If you have already given to The Conococheague Institute this fiscal year, thank you.


If you have any questions about your giving record, please contact The Conococheague Institute and ask for me, 717-328-3467 or Thank you for your continued support! 




                                                                                        Clifford Smith


                                                                                           Clifford Smith

                                                                                           General Manager



Other Ways to Give:


Appreciated Securities:


  • Giving stock may be tax advantageous.


Planned Gifts:


  • Wills & Bequests
  • Charitable Gift Annuities
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts


Call Clifford at 717-328-3467 or email for additional information.


Thank you for your donation!

Use Giving Assistant to save money and support Conococheague Institute for the Study of Cultural Heritage
Conococheague Creek, winter, snow, Conococheague Institute
Conococheague Creek in Winter
Conococheague Institute, snow, Rock Hill Farm
Rock Hill Farm in Winter
stove plates, Conococheague Institute, Rock Hill Farm, firebacks
Winter Display: Stoveplates at Rock Hill Farm
Conococheague Institute, Colonial costume, End of Starvation Feast
Guests at a Colonial Feast
Board of Directors

Dr. John C. Stauffer, MD

President Emeritus


Chris Ardinger



J. Hunter Webster

Vice President

Betty Jane Lee



Willa Weller Kaal


David G. Bell

Richard Reed

William (Bill) Sanders

Andrew Newman

Anita Newman

Stacy DeSmet

Advisory Board

Tom Finucane, Parlimentarian

Gay Buchanan

Calvin Bricker

Dr. Doris Armstrong-Goldman

Gay Buchanan

Peggie Potts

Martha E. Stauffer

Roger Swartz