For more information about your visit, please contact us at or call at 717-328-2800.

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, several historic gardens, an early childhood playground and picnic areas.

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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 name 'Conococheague Institute' symbolizes our focus on the early 18th Century, when the area was referred to as the Conococheague Settlement, (from the important waterway that gave the region its identity).

Throughout the centuries it has been spelled Canigotschik, Conecocheague, Conegocheek, Conegocheige, Conegochiegh, Conegoge, Conegogee, Conegogeek, Conigochego, Conigotoschick, Conijachola, Connatachequa, Connogocheague, Conocochego, Cunnaquachegue, Cunnatachegue, Cunnatichegue, and Guneukitschik.

In the Lenape language it is translated as 'Water of many turns' and it is phonetically pronounced as 'KAH-no-KAH-cheek'. Today locals pronounce it as 'Conica-jig'.

From 16,000 B.C.E to the 1700's C.E the land was inhabited by Susquehannoks, Shawnees, Lenni Lenape (Delawares) and tribes that made up the Six Nations (Iroquois). Numerous archaeology finds have shown extensive evidence of this rich cultural heritage, as the area was primarily a hunting and transportation corridor for tribes moving north and south.

Enjoying the Conococheague Institute Today

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 Great Blue Herons.

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 never takes a break, so check out the flowers in bloom throughout the grounds, or smell the herbs in our Kitchen Garden.

Book an educational program, or visit during our Saturday programming from 10am to 4pm YEAR ROUND.

Attend a Rock Hill tour on the first Friday of each month at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Learn more about the buildings and families that influenced the place that CI calls home.

Summer Camp 2024

Have a young historian or naturalist in the family? If so, consider signing up for our Summer Camp July Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th (9am to 3pm each day). We'll be combining several of our historic programs, with some new environmental nature activities, and the days are longer this year meaning your camper will have even more time to have fun while learning at the Conococheague Institute.

Sign up using this form or contact Kori at for more details. The Summer Camp fee is $300 for non-members, $250 for members (and payment is for the whole 4 day experience).

Even when the buildings are closed, History doesn't stop! We now have walking tours and information packets at dispensers near the Visitor Center and our Interpretive Wayside panels give a rich history of the Buildings and their story.

For those currently unable to visit, we have been producing virtual programs and adding them to YouTube. Check them out at Colonial Living at the Conococheague Institute.

Saturday Programs

We have some warmer things planned with our free Saturday programs for Winter.
Free historic programs at CI every Saturday year round! Contact us for more details.

Of course every Saturday, the gift shop, exhibits and bathrooms are also open from 10am to 4pm. See you soon.

July 13th

July 20th

July 27th

July & August Programs at CI


Save the Date - Events, Programs, and Lectures

2024 Summer Camp Registration Open!

Have a young historian or naturalist in the family? If so, consider signing up for our Summer Camp July Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th (9am to 3pm each day). We'll be combining several of our historic programs, with some new environmental nature activities, and the days are longer this year meaning your camper will have even more time to have fun while learning at the Conococheague Institute.

Sign up using this form or contact Kori at for more details.

The Summer Camp fee is $300 for non-members, $250 for members (and payment is for the whole 4 day experience).

Bringing Colonial History to Life: Free programs every Saturday year round

Every Saturday join our team for some hands on programs. With a focus on daily life in the 18th Century, you're sure to learn something new every time.

Note: Programs run from 10-4 unless noted otherwise, with museum and gift shop access 10-5.

Saturday, July 13th 10:00am to 4:00pm - Fikar’s Finest: Make and Take Craft

Join us as we host Fikar’s Finest on site and try your hand at sewing! She will have a free sewing project for people to take home with them. Fikar’s Finest is all about items and clothing from the French and Indian war to the 1800’s. She makes all garments by herself so she is the perfect person to talk to if you are looking into getting your own historical kit.

Saturday, July 20th 10:00am to 4:00pm - Recipes and Remedies: 18th Century Herbalism

Join staff in the cabin, and learn about how herbs were used in all aspects of life. How were different herbs stored and used? What are some recipes that we know are dangerous today? There will be ongoing demonstrations and skill sharing, as well as take home recipes to try for yourself!

Saturday, July 27th 10:00am to 4:00pm - Dyeing For Color

Come see us on Saturday July 27th to see how people dyed fiber using flora from their backyard. Join us as staff take plants from around the site to make a rainbow of color. Learn why some dye’s like indigo were one of the biggest exports from the Americas. We’ll talk about the kinds of knowledge that came from Indigenous and Enslaved peoples. As well as the economic influences natural dyes had on the economy both globally and locally. And, of course we’ll be dyeing both fabric and yarn in whatever colors are available that day!

Saturday, August 3rd, 10:00am to 4:00pm - Medicinal Plant Walks

Explore our medical exhibits and learn about historical remedies, and take a guided walk through our 30 acre site with our team to learn about the medicinal plants that abound in the region. Some plants have direct applications like jewelweed for poison, while others must be prepared and ingested. Recipes and history will be shared, but the program is recommended for educational purposes only. No actual medicine will be provided to the public.

Guided walks at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, starting at the Welsh Barrens Visitor Center.

Saturday, August 10th 10:00am to 4:00pm - 18th Century Health and Beauty

Learn about how people took care of hygiene and what was popular for hair and makeup during the time. See examples of historic products, and their modern day counterparts, as well as see recipes for health and beauty that people in the 18th century would have followed!

Saturday, August 17th, 10:00am to 4:00pm - Arrowheads and Archery

Learn about arrowheads and bow technology for indigenous hunters in the region in our exhibit throughout the day from 10am to 4pm, and be sure to take a bow in hand at 11am, 1pm and 3pm with a live archery shoot. We have bows sized for toddlers to adults, so everyone can have the opportunity to let loose. Come learn about how bow technology has been used throughout history, and let loose yourself with our variety of bows!

Archery at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, starting at the Welsh Barrens Visitor Center.

Saturday, August 24th 10:00am to 4:00pm - So You Want to Volunteer? (Skill sharing and living history orientation)

Preserving the historical crafts of the frontier requires us to learn those skills and pass them on, and we’ve had so many requests for volunteer workshops that we’re hosting an open skill sharing day. Not sure if you could survive homestead life? Learn how to start a fire with flint and steel, or draw water from the well with our team. Never dressed in historic clothes before? Our team will talk you through the process, and even help you find your sizing with some of our own volunteer outfits.

This is the day to ask the questions that you’ve not voiced, our experienced team will be happy to talk about working in a museum and how to interpret to the public.

All ages are welcome for this open skill sharing day, with the hope we’ll gather new potential volunteers, and nurture the future historians of tomorrow.

Saturday, August 31st 10:00am to 4:00pm - 18th Century Homestead Life

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.

Latest News from CI

2024 Brings New Experiences at the Conococheague Institute

Rock Hill Tour

With the New Year comes new opportunities to explore our history. For 2024 we'll be restarting Rock Hill tours on the first Friday of each month. Different from our hands-on crafts and living history programs that occur each Saturday, these Rock Hill tours will be a docent-led walk of the property, exploring in more detail the architecture and families who called Rock Hill Farm their home. 

It will also take you inside the Rock Hill house itself (with its puncheon floors, chestnut boards, and antique furniture), providing context for the properties development as the Davis/Chambers/Negley/Brewer/Niswander/Craig/Stauffer families all left their mark.

Tours start at 11am, 1pm and 3pm at the Welsh Barren's Visitor center. No RSVP required, tour fees are $5 per participant with CI members being free.

And in an effort to ensure that a love of the region is instilled from an early age, we're pleased to announce a new Little Learners program!

The Little Learners is an opportunity for the youngest members of CI's community to engage in educational fun and exploration through story time, crafts and movement activities.

They will take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 10:30am, and are $5 for non-members, and free for children of family members. The target age range is 2 to 4 years but siblings are welcome!

Contact Kori at if you have any questions or would like to RSVP.

2024 Little Learners

The Little Learners + Rock Hill Tours + Year Round Saturday programs! Exciting times at the Conococheague Institute and we can't wait to share them with you!

New Strategic Plan Announced

Strategic Plan 2024

We are proud to announce that we have finished the Strategic Plan 2023-2026, and you can read it here!

It focuses on the larger concepts for the organization in the next few years, as we strive to fulfill our vision to

“Become the leading museum and historic site in the region that represents 18th century frontier life accurately, offers to the public engaging learning experiences, and continues to grow and further its reach both financially and in reputation.”

The biggest item is that architects have been engaged to draw up a Campus Master Plan for the site, including new museum spaces, library resources, as well as an updated site flow, parking layout etc. Once that is complete and we have an idea of costs we can then launch into capital campaigning for each step of the way.

As we seek to accurately represent 18th century life, we are going to start the process of one day being a leader in educating about heritage animal husbandry. In the Spring of 2024 you’ll start to see some historic fencing and pens built to house future animals!

2nd Quarter Pioneer Times is Out Now! Read it here...

Interested in learning more about the recent happenings at CI? Check out our Quarterly Newsletter "The Pioneer Times". This issue showcases March to June, and it was our busiest time in our 30 year history!

You can read old issues below too.

March 2024 Pioneer Times

December 2023 Pioneer Times

September 2023 Pioneer Times

June 2023 Pioneer Times

March 2023 Pioneer Times

December 2022 Pioneer Times

September 2022 Pioneer Times

June 2022 Pioneer Times

March 2022 Pioneer Times

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.

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!

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