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

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, several historic gardens, an early childhood playground and picnic areas.

CI INFO graphic

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 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'. Today locals pronounce it as 'Conica-jig'.

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 Great Blue Herons.

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 4pm YEAR ROUND.

Attend a Rock Hill tour on the first Friday of each month at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Learn more about the buildings and families that influenced the place that CI calls home.

Summer Camp 2024

Have a young historian or naturalist in the family? If so, consider signing up for our Summer Camp July Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th (9am to 3pm each day). We'll be combining several of our historic programs, with some new environmental nature activities, and the days are longer this year meaning your camper will have even more time to have fun while learning at the Conococheague Institute.

Sign up using this form or contact Kori at for more details. The Summer Camp fee is $300 for non-members, $250 for members (and payment is for the whole 4 day experience).

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

We have some warmer things planned with our free Saturday programs for Winter.
Free historic programs at CI every Saturday year round! Contact us for more details.

Of course every Saturday, the gift shop, exhibits and bathrooms are also open from 10am to 4pm. See you soon.

May 11th

May 18th

May 25th


May June programs at CI


Save the Date - Events, Programs, and Lectures

2024 Summer Camp Registration Open!

Have a young historian or naturalist in the family? If so, consider signing up for our Summer Camp July Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th (9am to 3pm each day). We'll be combining several of our historic programs, with some new environmental nature activities, and the days are longer this year meaning your camper will have even more time to have fun while learning at the Conococheague Institute.

Sign up using this form or contact Kori at for more details.

The Summer Camp fee is $300 for non-members, $250 for members (and payment is for the whole 4 day experience).

Bringing Colonial History to Life: Free programs every Saturday year round

Every Saturday join our team for some hands on programs. With a focus on daily life in the 18th Century, you're sure to learn something new every time.

Note: Programs run from 10-4 unless noted otherwise, with museum and gift shop access 10-5.

Saturday, May 11th 10:00am to 4:00pm -  Food on the Frontier

Looking for inspiration for your next food adventure? Then join us to learn about Food on the Frontier and find a recipe straight from an 18th century recipe book. 

We’ll be recreating several dishes that use our bake oven, our homestead hearth and firepits and you can help too, learning about historic techniques along the way. Our garden herbs are ready to harvest, so you’ll leave with more than just a recipe too!

Saturday, May 18th 10:00am to 4:00pm -  Gardening Then and Now

Get dirty with a hands-on learning program all about the 18th century Kitchen garden. Though many of the practices used in the garden at CI date to over 200 years ago and beyond, the practices are just as relevant for the modern organic hobby gardener. This program teaches visitors how to manage their garden through an 18th century lens. Building garden structures, turning over soil, planting seeds, harvesting herbs and identifying those medicinal plants. All done in a manner familiar to the 18th Century.

Saturday, May 25th 10:00am to 4:00pm - So You Want to Volunteer? (Skill sharing and living history orientation)

Preserving the historical crafts of the frontier requires us to learn those skills and pass them on, and we’ve had so many requests for volunteer workshops that we’re hosting an open skill sharing day. Not sure if you could survive homestead life? Learn how to start a fire with flint and steel, or draw water from the well with our team. Never dressed in historic clothes before? Our team will talk you through the process, and even help you find your sizing with some of our own volunteer outfits. 

This is the day to ask the questions that you’ve not voiced, our experienced team will be happy to talk about working in a museum and how to interpret to the public.

All ages are welcome for this open skill sharing day, with the hope we’ll gather new potential volunteers, and nurture the future historians of tomorrow.

Saturday, June 1st 02:30pm to 06:00pm - 30th Anniversary Celebration: WelshFest

The whole community is invited to celebrate 30 years at the Conococheague Institute with live performances of Welsh Music, Food & Craft Vendors, Historic Activities, Games and more!

Back by popular demand the Rehoboth Welsh Choir will be performing a mini Cymanfa Ganu

Local harpist Lauren Swain will play entrancing music on a Grand Harp, 

Forbes Road Frolic will delight with traditional 18th century Welsh and Gaelic tunes for fiddle, lute and cello!

Learn about Welsh Settlers on the Frontier, bake historic recipes in our Bake Oven, try your hand at archery, compete in traditional games, meet our staff and contributors and explore our newly unveiled exhibits.

Enjoy food and drink from Antietam Dairy, Michaux Brew Co, Roll Time, with many local craft vendors present.

Founding members and new visitors alike are welcome to learn about CI’s fascinating past and the future of the frontier! 

Music and Presentations made possible thanks to Middletown Valley Bank, F&M Trust, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau and M&T Bank, and by donations from people like you.

No RSVP required, this is a free event for the community to honor the legacy of CI's founders, to remember those who have passed, and celebrate our bright future together.

Latest News from CI

2024 Brings New Experiences at the Conococheague Institute

Rock Hill Tour

With the New Year comes new opportunities to explore our history. For 2024 we'll be restarting Rock Hill tours on the first Friday of each month. Different from our hands-on crafts and living history programs that occur each Saturday, these Rock Hill tours will be a docent-led walk of the property, exploring in more detail the architecture and families who called Rock Hill Farm their home. 

It will also take you inside the Rock Hill house itself (with its puncheon floors, chestnut boards, and antique furniture), providing context for the properties development as the Davis/Chambers/Negley/Brewer/Niswander/Craig/Stauffer families all left their mark.

Tours start at 11am, 1pm and 3pm at the Welsh Barren's Visitor center. No RSVP required, tour fees are $5 per participant with CI members being free.

And in an effort to ensure that a love of the region is instilled from an early age, we're pleased to announce a new Little Learners program!

The Little Learners is an opportunity for the youngest members of CI's community to engage in educational fun and exploration through story time, crafts and movement activities.

They will take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 10:30am, and are $5 for non-members, and free for children of family members. The target age range is 2 to 4 years but siblings are welcome!

Contact Kori at if you have any questions or would like to RSVP.

2024 Little Learners

The Little Learners + Rock Hill Tours + Year Round Saturday programs! Exciting times at the Conococheague Institute and we can't wait to share them with you!

New Strategic Plan Announced

Strategic Plan 2024

We are proud to announce that we have finished the Strategic Plan 2023-2026 (facilitated by Gail Reeder as a gratis consultant), and you can read it here!

It focuses on the larger concepts for the organization in the next few years, as we strive to fulfill our vision to

“Become the leading museum and historic site in the region that represents 18th century frontier life accurately, offers to the public engaging learning experiences, and continues to grow and further its reach both financially and in reputation.”

The biggest item is that architects have been engaged to draw up a Campus Master Plan for the site, including new museum spaces, library resources, as well as an updated site flow, parking layout etc. Once that is complete and we have an idea of costs we can then launch into capital campaigning for each step of the way.

As we seek to accurately represent 18th century life, we are going to start the process of one day being a leader in educating about heritage animal husbandry. In the Spring of 2024 you’ll start to see some historic fencing and pens built to house future animals!

1st Quarter Pioneer Times is Out Now! Read it here...

Interested in learning more about the recent happenings at CI? Check out our Quarterly Newsletter "The Pioneer Times". This issue showcases all the activity that occurred this winter to prepare 2024 to be our best year yet.

Start Reading now!

You can read old issues below too.

December 2024 Pioneer Times

September 2023 Pioneer Times

June 2023 Pioneer Times

March 2023 Pioneer Times

December 2022 Pioneer Times

September 2022 Pioneer Times

June 2022 Pioneer Times

March 2022 Pioneer Times

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!

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