Covid-19 Update April 8th, 2021 - We are OPEN with Spring Hours: Historic Programming Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, Visitor Center and Gift Shop Saturdays 10am to 5pm. Additional programs/library/genealogy by appointment. 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 or call at 717-328-2800 and leave a voicemail.

History at Home - Articles, Research and Programs

Our library of articles contains a great deal of information about local history and includes many interesting photos.

History at Home

CI is pleased to announce a return of Lectures: Virtually

CI Lectures have been a mainstay of our organization drawing crowds on Indian Affairs, the Mason Dixon Line, and much more for years. Many were saddened when the COVID-19 Pandemic canceled planned lectures in 2020.

While in-person Lectures are still problematic to organize, it doesn't mean the research has stopped.

So, join us for our first Virtual Lecture Via Zoom, on a subject you won't want to miss:

"Plaid in Pennsylvania" Wednesday 24th February at 7 pm (EST)

Plaid in PA - By Sean Considine

Lecture Description:

After the defeat of the final Jacobite Rebellion, the British Parliament passed the Act of Proscription requiring that “…no man or boy, within that part of Great Briton called Scotland… shall on any pretense whatsoever, wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland Clothes.” The act set the punishment at 6 months imprisonment for the first offense and transportation for seven years for the second offense. For the next 35 years, the Act of Proscription was in effect banning highland wear in Scotland. Across the Atlantic however, it was a different story. Join our guest presenter Sean Considine for Plaid in Pennsylvania as he reveals his findings of highland clothes and materials that were worn by Scottish immigrants and others in Pennsylvania during the time of the Act of Proscription.

About the Presenter:

Sean Considine is an Experienced and Innovative Programs Manager for Lockheed Martin. In his professional life, he is a dedicated and passionate leader who has demonstrated full-spectrum leadership across all areas of program and personnel performance.

His love of History and attention to detail has led him to follow similar paths in his personal life. After years of research and public interpretation in various roles, he now serves as the Vice President and Commanding Officer of the American Revolution Re-enacting group "HM 17th Regiment of Foot".

Sean has been donating his time, assets, and experience to aiding and improving CI's Interpretive programming, both by his leadership of volunteers and his skills as a craftsman.

Sean Considine - Volunteer Lecturer

For information on how to view this virtual lecture, please email with the Subject Line "Plaid". You will be sent instructions on how to join before Wednesday 24th February. After the Lecture, resources from it will be available online.

CI and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

We recently teamed up with the National Museum of Civil War Medicine to film a joint program highlighting Surgery through the ages. With CI's expansive 18th Century Surgical Collection, and their 19th Century Collection and prestige, this was the perfect way to show the differences and similarities across the ages.

Membership and donations help support such programs so please think about supporting us so we can continue such endeavors.

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For more information on Historical Surgery, there are a lot of options.

Surgeons manuals were indispensable, and though CI has many in our Library some can be found online at Project Gutenberg. Try " The Compleat Surgeon" by Charles Gabriel Le Clerc or the 18th Century "A Collection of Chirurgical Tracts" by William Becket.

An image speaks a thousand words and the 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center has a great selection on the Medical Arts.

To learn more about 19th Century surgery visit our friends at The National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

Making a Meat Pasty

One thing that unites people of all time periods is a love of food. That's why at CI, we enjoy using our Hearth fires and Bake Ovens so often to recreate historic recipes. Nothing makes a space feel more lived-in than the fresh smell of baked goods, and it has the added benefit of filling our stomachs.

Many people have asked for recipes that they can try at home, and so we recently made a video detailing the process of making a meat pasty.

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But where do these recipes come from?

There are scores of Historic Recipe books available online for free and in print. Our Library has a wealth of them too.

For this recipe we followed Hannah Glasses "Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy" to make a shortcrust pastry and some meat filling:

Art of Cookery

Petit Pastys

Historic Recipes can be a little vague on many options though, so when cooking at home, it's important to get a few more details.

To Make 6 Meat Pasties

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Shortcrust Pastry

2 1/2 cups (310g/10oz) plain flour

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

120 g (4 oz) butter, chopped


250 g (8 oz) round or blade steak, finely chopped (or meat of your choice)

2 small floury potatoes, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup (15 g/ 1/2 oz) chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup (60ml/2fl oz) beef or chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon English mustard

1 teaspoon grated horseradish

beaten egg, to glaze

  1. Preheat the oven to hot (415 degrees F) and grease a baking tray. Put the flour, mustard, and butter in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix with a knife until the mixture comes together, adding more water if needed. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate
  2. To make the filling, mix together the steak, potato, onion, and parsley. Add the stock, mustard, and horseradish, and season with salt and white petter. Mix well
  3. Roll the pastry out to 3 mm (1/8 inch) thickness. Cut out six 16 cm (6 1/2 inch) rounds, using a saucer as a guide. Spoon the filling into the centres of the six pastry rounds.
  4. Glaze the edge of the pastry with egg and bring up two sides over the filling to make a half-circle. Pinch the edges together to form a frill. Brush with the egg and bake on a baking tray for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate (350 degrees F) and cook for a further 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold

Good luck and have fun. Pasties can be individualised to your favourite fillings for every member of the family!

A Meat Pasty, Cheese and Bread - Faux Food

Penmenship and Poetry: Preparing for Valentines Day

During the month of February, we made available in the Visitor Center an instruction in Penmenship: What writing tools and education was typical in the 18th Century, how letters were written, and finally how they were sealed and sent.

As well as doing each of these steps, Visitors were also invited to write a love letter for Valentines' Day with Quill and ink, using some examples of classic Love Poetry.

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