We are safely open with 2022 Hours: Historic Programming every Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Visitor Center and Gift Shop Saturdays 10am to 5pm.

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

Grounds and Trails are open daily from Dawn to Dusk.

Please visit safely, and follow all health and safety guidelines.

For more information, please contact Matthew Wedd at info@cimlg.org or call at 717-328-2800 and leave a voicemail.

Bringing Colonial History to Life

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

Saturday Programs at CI

Join us EVERY Saturday Year Round for the following programs on the hour:

10:00 AM

The Kitchen Garden

Roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty! Learn about our kitchen garden and why they were an incredibly important part of frontier life in the 18th century. Lend a hand to our historic gardener by fetching water from our well, pulling weeds, picking fresh produce and smelling herbs that will be perfect for any cook in the kitchen! Your hard work may be rewarded with fresh seasonal produce. In the winter, there is still plenty of work to be done!

11:00 AM

At Home on the Frontier

Home is where you make it and for people on the Pennsylvania frontier those homes were made of logs. Join our interpreters in the log home and learn about daily life for the people of the frontier and what kinds of people lived here. Help out around the home by grabbing a broom, polishing our metals, or BEATING the dirt out of some soiled linens. There is much to do and many hands make quick work!

12:00 PM

Garden to Table

In the 18th century, people ate with the seasons. Learn about the meals everyday people made using their kitchen gardens and what was in season. Smell what we have cooking or give the kettle a stir. How would you like cooking a meal in a smoky hearth over a hot fire?

1:00 PM

Making New

Tools break and clothes tear, but this doesn’t mean they are thrown out. In the 18th century many would have had the skills to keep their belongings in good order. Join our interpreters in learning some hands on skills whether that be darning, sewing, mending, repairing or rebuilding. What did it take to keep up with the wear and tear of daily life on the frontier.

2:00 PM

Stylin’ in the 18th Century

The settlers of the frontier may have been thousands of miles from the fashions of London or Paris, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have style. Learn about what it takes to be fashionable in the rural parts of the colonies. Try on the clothes of the era and snag a selfie!

3:00 PM

Pleasant Diversions

Life on the frontier wasn’t all hard work. Gather at our Ordinary and blow off some steam. Learn about the role ordinaries and taverns played in their communities and try your hand at the games table. Join in a song and learn what it means to be a part of a frontier community.


Latest News from CI

September 17th Fall Frolic Fundraiser tickets on sale NOW!

Fall Frolic Fundraiser 5pm to 9pm Saturday 17th September 2022 at the Conococheague Institute

Order yours today by clicking here to go to our Eventbrite page.

5pm to 9pm Saturday September 17th. Family Friendly event includes a Hog Roast meal, live music from Cormorant's Fancy, a historic ale from GearHouse Brewing Co (or substitute soft drink), 50/50 Raffles, Prize Raffles and a historic hat auction all to benefit CI's educational programs. Tickets limted to 140 to order yours today.

Members Match Campaign: July Update!

Summer 2022 Members Match Campaign

Join us in celebrating as our Summer Members Match Campaign continues with strong success. All donations made from June to September are being tallied as we try to match the donations of 3 donors to total $65,000.

In June the contributions received from our community equalled $26,427.12!!! That's a third of the way in just one month! Thank you to all those who contributed so far. Make a donation today to support our mission. All donations are tax deductible and support the great educational programs that are keeping a love of history and nature alive in the region.

Make checks payable to The Conococheague Institute - Members Match, 12955 Bain Road, Mercersburg, PA, 17236 or donate online at http://www.paypal.me/DonatetoCI

June 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 March to June which include education bookings, our Summer Members Match Campaign, a special feature on our Can you Live 18th Century program and scores of wonderful photos of The Conococheague Institute serving the community. Start reading!

You can read old issues below too.

March 2022 Pioneer Times

Or find out what happened in 2021 be read by clicking on these links.

First Quarter Pioneer Times

Second Quarter Pioneer Times

Third Quarter Pioneer Times

Fourth Quarter Pioneer Times

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

AC Grant

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.

Join us EVERY Saturday for hourly programs

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. 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!

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