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.
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.
Colonial Christmas at the Conococheague: Saturday December 17th 10am to 4pm
Our final event of 2022 is a free community Christmas Celebration. We'll be diving into early American holiday traditions, and you can make your own Christmas bough of natural greens to decorate your home. Games and Gambols of all sorts keeps the Christmas cheer alive, and the Bake Oven will be busy pushing out Gingerbread and Shortbread that visitors can shape themselves.
Get in the spirit of the 18th Century and enjoy a Wassail Bowl. A historic drink perfect for the season (Adult and Children's versions).
There will also be a bumper sale in our Gift Shop, making it a perfect time for last minute Stocking Stuffers!
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!
September 2022 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 is filled with exciting updates from June to September which include our Militia Event, Harvest Faire and Fall Frolic, Conservation efforts, Donations, Invitation to our Annual Meeting and scores of wonderful photos of The Conococheague Institute serving the community. Start reading!
You can read old issues below too.
Or find out what happened in 2021 be read by clicking on these links.
Americana Corner Grant Program Supports CI's Educational Programming!
The Conococheague Institute is proud to announce that we’ve been selected as a 2022 @AmericanaCorner Grant Program recipient! 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.
This funding will support our educational and interpretive programs on Frontier life of early Americans! Americana Corner also regularly posts blogs and videos on America's founding, a great resource for online learning.
Visit americanacorner.com for details. #americancornergrants
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.
Join us EVERY Saturday for hourly programs
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!