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.
While our buildings still remain closed to the public, 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!
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.
We are extremely pleased to share the Summer progress here at the Conococheague Institute with our Members and Followers. Since joining our team in June, Operations Manager Matthew Wedd has brought on an extremely talented group of volunteers who have given countless hours in making improvements to the site and grounds:
Weeding has been an intense job, but the Four Square Garden is looking better tended then it has been in ages.
Thanks to a generous donation of $2000 from Dennis Kubicki, we were able to buy a large amount of cooking equipment for the Cabin and Tavern, and the Negley has been host to many Virtual Programs (which you can find on our Facebook and soon on YouTube). We hope that more people donating in the same vein.will enable similar improvements and programming potential.
Money from that Donation was also put towards Fabric for clothing workshops, and volunteers will soon be making clothes for both volunteers and visitors.
Led by Board Member Chuck Holland, volunteers and staff have started the Bake Oven Project moving again and we hope to be baking in it by the Fall.
Even in the heat of Summer, new visitors have been stopping by daily, drawn by the Facebook activity, and we hope the momentum continues to build.
We've been working on new 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. Download and print it off at home and bring it with you next time you visit! We plan to have it available onsite when staffing allows.
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!
In order to show our members and supporters the summer progress at CI, we were pleased to invite the public to a special 18th Century Open Grounds Day. This was a free event!
On Sat, August 1, 2020, from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Staff, and over 20 volunteers inhabited various outdoor areas of the Institute in various historical roles and we invited visitors to enjoy our site in a safe manner. Throughout the day close to 100 visitors joined as, as we were overjoyed with the public support.
Activities included Tailoring, Hearth Cooking Demonstrations, Gardening, Woman's Roles, Military talks, as well as the ever-popular Hands-on Well.
While main building access remained closed to the public, volunteers were at accessible areas where socially-distanced interpretation occurred.
For more information on similar upcoming events, become a Member and sign up for our email newsletters.