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.
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'.
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.
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 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 5pm YEAR ROUND.
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.
Americana Corner Preserving America Grant Program Enables New Exhibits and Educational Programs
In 2022 we were among the Inaugural recipients of the Americana Corner grant program which greatly helped in expanding our education programs.
The Conococheague Institute is is proud to announce that we’ve been selected again for the 2023 @AmericanaCorner Preserving America Grant Program!
The program was established to assist non-profit organizations like us in the telling of the incredible story of America from its founding era through its first century as a nation.
We'll be going in further this year, using it to support our educational programs and offer in-school opportunities, but also installing a brand new exhibit on the history of firearms, and acquiring new historic gardening tools that will mean more students hands on in the garden during every program. Which of course in turn means more tasty crops that we can give back to the community. Truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Our sincerest thanks to Tom Hand of AC for his generosity in supporting so many wonderful organizations that instill a “love of country” – the Amor Patriae – in our communities.
Visit americanacorner.com for details. #americancornergrants
Franklin County IMPACT! Grant Program Supports CI's Outdoor Spaces!
We are pleased to share the news that CI was awarded a $70,000 grant through the Franklin County IMPACT! Grant Program.
With this funding, CI] will being improving our outdoor spaces for the community including new picnic areas, bike rakes, children's learning play area and equipment.
Funding through Franklin County’s IMPACT! Grant Program was available to nonprofit organizations, municipalities and municipal authorities located within Franklin County to support local recovery efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Franklin County Commissioners distributed grants for 127 projects across Franklin County.
The IMPACT! Grant Program was made possible through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
We are grateful to the Franklin County Commissioners for this grant and for supporting our project.
2022 Annual Members Meeting Recap
We're happy to report a great turnout for the 2022 Annual Members Meeting held at CI on October 8th. All 4 new Board Nominees were approved and voted in by the membership, and a year in review showed all the great highlights from the last 12 months. Welcome Matt Baer, Bailey Roberts Long, JD Bennett and Gina Vitale to our Board Leadership!
March 2023 Pioneer Times is Out Now! Read it here...
Interested in learning more about the recent happenings at CI? One of the Membership Perks is our insider Quarterly Newsletter "The Pioneer Times". The latest issue shows why there is no "off-season" for the Conococheague Institute. Grants, Programs, Events, New Exhibits and generous donations have kept CI buzzing. Start Reading now!
You can read old issues below too.
Historic Programs in the Cabin and Gardens every Saturday year round
Every Saturday join our staff in the Historic areas of CI for some hands on programs. With a focus on daily life in the 18th Century, you're sure to learn something new every time.
April 15th: Get to Know Nature
Prepare for Earth Day 2023 (April 22nd) but attending this event and learning about the investing in conservation! We've partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Conococheague Audubon, Wonderfully Wild, and more to provide activities that will bring nature to you.
Don't miss a special animal encounter program by Wonderfully Wild at 11am that provides an engaging and educational way to help foster a love of and connection with our natural world.
Their programs consist of a variety of small mammals and reptiles from around the world. By understanding that the Earth we seek to protect through conservation has a GLOBAL impact, not just locally, we can see the results of actions we take.
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!
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!