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.
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.
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.
Even when the buildings 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.
Historic Programs in the Cabin and Gardens every Friday and Saturday
The Conococheague Book Club - Thursday 17th June 1pm
A very special Book Club awaits! The author James F. Druckenbrod will be out to speak to the group about his book “The Culbertson Row Farm: An 18th Century Land Grant in Franklin County, PA”.
The Book Club meets every third Thursday at 1pm and is open to all. For more information contact email@example.com
The Militia Muster of Old Welsh Run - Saturday July 3rd 10am to 5pm
Celebrate the birth of America in Revolutionary Style at the Conococheague Institute. Join the militia of old Welsh Run as they gather at the Davis homestead in preparation for War. All are welcome to join the muster! Learn all the skills of a soldier: How to march, how to fight, what to eat and how to have fun amidst it all.
This program will allow visitors to experience a rural militia muster, civilians following the army, and aspects of a rural Pennsylvania community. Centered around the Tavern at the CI, but also making use of the full extent of the 30-acre property, such as the oven, woodland paths, homestead, and more. In addition to scheduled programs and vignettes, programming will be ongoing through the day such as cooking, local commerce, itinerant trades, signing oaths of allegiance, etc.
Scheduled Programming is as follows:
10 a.m. – Election of an Officer: Militias in Revolutionary America were a fickle thing. As a new idea of equality spreads it means a new way of leading. If every man is equal then why follow orders at all? As two local gentlemen vie for the position of the commanding officer, witness their merits and add your voice to the final vote.
11 a.m. – Inspection and Company Drill: The Militia of Old Welsh Run will have their arms and accoutrements inspected at the beginning of the muster. An important task when each man is bringing an individual firelock (of dubious quality). Following which the militia will begin to drill. With a mix of veteran soldiers, awkward rookies, and hopeless farmers, will they be able to march in a straight line, let alone stand against the British Redcoats discipline? The drill will end in a full company musket firing!
12 p.m. – Marching on their Stomachs: Learn what really kept soldiers going in hard times by looking at their rations and mealtime preparations. Help the war effort by baking some hard bread that will last for a long campaign.
1 p.m. – Volunteer Company Drill with Public: Having seen how the militia handles themselves, it's time to try it yourself. Our sergeants will guide you through the paces of Marching, Facings, and Maneuvers that will make the difference between a militia and a mob. Do you have what it takes to outflank the British at the next great battle?
2 p.m. – A reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by a celebratory Artillery Firing: Join with pride at a reading of the Declaration of Independence. These important words that were held in every Patriot's heart, would echo in every rustic field to the great halls of European Nobility and change the World! The Declaration will be celebrated with a firing of CI's Swivel Gun "Spitfire" just as today celebrations occur with fireworks.
3 p.m. – Company Drill: A full day of training has made the militia mesh together better but practice makes perfect. More marching, more wheels, and more difficult maneuvers will be practiced before setting off for war. Company musketry will include different forms of firing that were utilized during the Revolutionary War.
4 p.m. – Diversions from Duty: Militia Musters helped bring the militia together, but were also a chance to relax, have fun and show off. Officers would often encourage soldiers to compete in footraces, boxing, and sports with cash rewards. Join the militia in unwinding in a group cricket match or a race around the green with prizes going to the best competitors.
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!
Interested in learning more about the recent happenings at CI? One of the Membership Perks is our insider Quarterly Newsletter "The Pioneer Times". First Quarter Pioneer Times
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.
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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!