Grounds, trails, picnic area & playground are open daily from dawn to dusk. Exhibits, gift shop & historic programming open every Saturday from 10am to 5pm,

Additional tours/field trips/programs/library/genealogy by appointment year round.

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

Bonfire Night 2023

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, and several historic gardens.

Bringing Colonial History to Life

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 Institute strives to achieve its mission through education, research, and preservation.

2nd Quarter Pioneer Times

Catch up on the latest CI news by reading the Second Quarter Pioneer Times here!


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.

Saturday Programs at CI

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 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.

Summer Programs

September programs

We have another exciting month planned with our free Saturday programs for Summer.
Free historic programs at CI every Saturday year round! Of course every Saturday, the gift shop, exhibits and bathrooms are also open from 10am to 5pm. See you soon.


Latest News from CI

PA Museums Institutional Achievement launches 2023 Giving Season

PA Museums award

We are excited to share that our 'Can you Live 18th Century' program in partnership with Mercersburg Academy, was awarded a PA Museums Institutional Achievement award.

We were commended for the revolutionary nature of the program, the inclusiveness of bringing young teens in touch with history, and the impact it made on our organization both financially and in terms of public awareness. It was a school day so the students couldn't attend but this award equally belongs to them for making the program so much fun, and to the donor who endowed the program, Robert Kurtz Jr.

This award was of special note as other winners included big names like the Museum of the American Revolution and the Senator John Heinz History Center. These organizations have million dollar budgets, so to be ranked among them in terms of programming is a great honor. 
PA Museums has a long history of advocating for museums and the history field, and we appreciate them for bringing our community together for these awards.

You too can celebrate with us by making a tax deductible donation. 

Head to to learn more!

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 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, we have finished additions to our outdoor spaces for the community including new picnic areas, bike rakes, children's learning play area and equipment. Come check that out any day from dawn to dusk.

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.

Impact Grant Support Logo

June 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". This issue was the hardest ever to squeeze an entire season into 10 pages, so much has happened!

Start Reading now!

You can read old issues below too.

March 2023 Pioneer Times

December 2022 Pioneer Times

September 2022 Pioneer Times

June 2022 Pioneer Times

March 2022 Pioneer Times

Save the Date - Events, Programs, and Lectures

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.

Sept 2nd: Fall's Bounty!

From cider making to pigéage (grape stomping), learn what can be done with edibles gathered in the fall! Then take some home and try it out yourself!

Sept 9th: Flax and Fiber Day on the Frontier

Join Melanie of Textile Traditions as she demonstrates flax processing, including the breaking, scutching, hackling, and spinning on a flax wheel.
Sept 16th: A Day in the Life

Come see how people occupied their time with everyday tasks. From house chores, gardening, sewing to playing games, there's always something to do!

September 23rd: Fall Frolic Fundraiser

Purchase your tickets now for this Annual Fundraiser at

September 30th: Dyeing for Color!

Join Amelia as they demonstrate the process of historic dyeing techniques. Take a tour through the site to see some plants used for dyeing and guess what color they could make!

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!

Our Facebook Feed