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

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

We have a full selection of Virtual Programs available on our YouTube Channel "Colonial Living at the Conococheague Institute". From fun vignettes, or artifact spotlights make sure to subscribe and see the latest.

CI and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

CI and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

We 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.

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

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.

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