Covid-19 Update January 20th, 2021 - We are OPEN with Winter Hours for buildings, and programs by appointment, in addition to the Grounds and Trails being open daily from Dawn to Dusk.

Please visit safely, and follow all health and safety guidelines.

For more information, please contact Matthew Wedd at or call at 717-328-2800 and leave a voicemail.

A Walk Back in Time

The Conococheague Institute is a hands-on regional learning center. 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, walking trails with access to a pioneer cemetery, and several historic gardens.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Our Mission

The mission of the Conococheague Institute is to develop and foster awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the cultural and natural history of the Appalachian frontier of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The Institute strives to achieve its mission through education, research, and preservation.

Explore the Beauty of the Natural World

School Programs at the Conococheague Institute

With so many families homeschooling, we are pleased to welcome Schools, Homeschool groups, and families to book a School Program at the Conococheague Institute. With numerous outdoor areas, we are able to use safer environments to engage your children while still giving them their Social Distance safety.

We are currently offering a selection of programs including:

18th Century Medicine and Surgery - Learn about Colonial Physicians, where medicine came from, and the Surgical tools they used. A great blend of Science, History, Grossness, and Entertainment!

Colonial Life on the Frontier - Discover the simple day to day skills people used throughout early American History, from Firestarting, Water Drawing, Gardening, and Cooking. Learn what our Ancestors wore, and how they lived. Our Frontier Cabin makes the perfect stage for this immersive program.

Quill Writing in the Piper Cabin

Colonial Games - Join in on the fun by trying your hand at some of History's best love games, from several cultures. From simple wooden tops and yoyos, tabletop games like draughts, to large outdoor group games like Cricket and Lacrosse. Some may seem familiar, some may seem strange, but all are a lot of fun.

Face the Bowler, not the WicketKeeper!

Nature Walks: Birds and Botany - Explore the beauty of nature and learn as a group some of the wonderful facts about the Flora and Fauna at CI. We have plants that can be used as medicine, beautiful flowers that support our thriving pollinator population. Our Birds range from Wetland Herons to Bald Eagles...and our two peacocks of course. Why do birds fly? What can a bird's beak tell you? Find out these answers and more.

For more information on these and our other school programs please contact

Enjoying the Conococheague Institute during COVID-19

While our Buildings still have reduced hours, now is a great time to visit the Conococheague Institute. With over 30 acres of a remote rural landscape, you can escape the crowds and enjoy nature's beauty. For Birding enthusiasts, our viewing platform over our wetlands area contains a wealth of healthy bird species from Redwing Blackbirds to our more extravagant Peacocks.

Our Grounds are dog friendly, so enjoy walking your furry friend around our Cemetery Trail Loop (which crosses the Welsh Run three times), or enjoy the shade under our tree line walk.

Nature hasn't taken a break during COVID-19 so check out the flowers in bloom throughout the grounds, or smell the herbs in our Four Square Garden.

Though internal Exhibits are closed, History doesn't stop! We now have walking tours and information packets at dispensers near each parking area, and our Interpretive Wayside panels give a rich history of the Buildings and their story. We are also endeavoring to release virtual programs every Sunday - So Check out our Facebook page for more information!

We recently started adding all our videos to Youtube. Check them out at Colonial Living at the Conococheague Institute.

As we continue to adapt, we hope to offer more outdoor programs such as Living History Demonstrations, History Hikes, and more. Again follow our Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.

Dogs on the Old Welsh Cemetery Loop Trail


Revolutionary Gazette: CI spotlight

What is The Conococheague Institute?

A video speaks a thousand words. At an event in 2020, Will Eichler and his Revolutionary Gazette filmed a promotional video of CI. It showcases what visitors will see during their visit, and is a great example of the benefits of Membership. Free entry to events like these is just one of the perks!

Thank you Will for highlighting CI's attributes so well. Be sure to check out and rest of the Revolutionary Gazette on YouTube for episodes ranging from famous battles to simple daily tasks that soldiers during the Revolution would have needed to survive.

At Home Places Article

At the end of last year, CI submitted an Article to a local Magazine "At Home Places" about its role in bringing the Colonial story to the local Community. You can read the full article online or pick up a copy at numerous businesses in the area. We hope to be contributing many more in the 2021 Calendar Year.

At Home Places Article First Page

Save the Date - Events, Programs, and Lectures

Living History Programs - Every Saturday 10 am to 4 pm

Virtual Lecture - Wednesday 24th February at 7pm on Zoom. Guest Presenter Sean Considine will be presenting "Plaid in Pennsylvania". Email for joining instructions

March Book Club- Thursday 18th March at the Welsh Barrens Visitor Center, 1 pm. Moderator Ken Shannon will be leading a discussion on the book "By Great Rivers".

This is a reschedule due to the Snowstorm effecting the February Book Club

Winter Edition of the Pioneer Times

Interested in learning more about the recent happenings at CI? One of the Membership Perks is our insider Quarterly Newsletter "The Pioneer Times". Read the Winter 2020 edition here.

Looking for a Free Outdoor Activity to do with your Family?

Stop by the porch of the Visitor Center where boxes contain Children's 'Explorer' activity packs. This free activity pack is a great way for families with young children to enjoy History and Nature at CI. You can even download and print it off at home and bring it with you next time you visit!

Standard COVID-19 Policies will apply. By staging all public activities outside, proper social distancing will allow maximum enjoyment and safety for all. If you cannot maintain a 6 ft distance from someone, please follow CDC and State Guidelines and wear a face mask.

For more information on upcoming events, become a Member and sign up for our email newsletters.

To stay up to date on the progress here at the Conococheague Institute, make sure to follow our Facebook page...or stop by and see the progress yourself!

Our Facebook Feed