Good Reads

Read about Franklin County, PA.

Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or interested in arts and culture, we have some good reads for you.  Read any of our publications online or download them to your mobile device.  We’re getting the word out about Franklin County.

 

Franklin County Visitors Guide

Traveling to Franklin County? The Franklin County Visitor’s Guide is the best way to find what to do, where to go, where to dine and where to stay. A full-color guide is distributed throughout United States and Canada. Guide sections include History, Recreation, Farms & Markets, Dining, Shopping & Antiquing, Arts & Entertainment, Festivals & Family Fun and a Tourism Directory. This publication has a circulation of 75,000+!

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On The Move in Franklin County

Franklin County is a year-round recreation destination with hiking, biking, skiing, birding, skydiving, golfing, fishing, hunting, tubing, and biking. With easy access to I-81, it is a great on-the-move destination.

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Spring Into History 2017

Every year, the Franklin County Visitor’s Bureau produces a Spring Into History booklet to highlight the history of Franklin County and help visitors trek across the county to explore historic forts, Civil War sites, hallowed grounds and hiding places of the Underground Railroad. Sites are free and open to the public during the event, this year the date is Saturday, April 22, 2017. This book has a great shelf life and is used for return visits.

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Military Trail of History

The Franklin County Military Trail of History Guide takes visitors on a self-guided tour through the many monuments, memorials, cemeteries, forts, houses and parks that honor those who served in our military and armed forces. The guide is distributed at Armed Forces, 9/11 and Veteran’s Day Commemorations, the PA Welcome Center, regional and local events, bus and pr events, visitor packets and visitor kiosks in hotel lobbies. The online version is emailed to more than 4,000 people each year. This is an excellent way to recognize and thank veterans and share Franklin County’s military story.

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Walking Tour Guide
Mercersburg Historic District

To visit Mercersburg is to step back in time. As the boyhood home of fifteenth president James Buchanan, Mercersburg offers rich colonial, Underground Railroad, and Civil War history. Settled by James Black, a Scots-Irish immigrant, in 1730, the town was originally called Black’s Town. Take the historic walking tour of downtown, enjoy the wonderful early American architecture, and listen for the lovely 43-bell carillon of the Mercersburg Academy Chapel..

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Biking and Driving Tour of French & Indian War Sites in Southwest Franklin County, PA

The biking/driving tour will lead you on winding, rural roads across rolling hills and streams. Be alert for farm equipment. The circuit is about 30 miles. Take water and food as needed. Binoculars will also be useful. Parking is available at Stops 4 and 5.  You will travel through fertile farmland where the early settlers were on constant alert for Indian attacks from the mountains to the west. You will pass by the sites of Indian attacks, scalpings, and hostage-takings during the period of 1756 to 1758. At this time frontier defenses against the Indians were weak and mainly left to the local settlers to organize.

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Biking and Driving Tour of French & Indian War Sites in Southwest Franklin County, PA

The biking/driving tour will lead you on winding, rural roads across rolling hills and streams. Be alert for farm equipment. The circuit is about 30 miles. Take water and food as needed. Binoculars will also be useful. Parking is available at Stops 4 and 5.  You will travel through fertile farmland where the early settlers were on constant alert for Indian attacks from the mountains to the west. You will pass by the sites of Indian attacks, scalpings, and hostage-takings during the period of 1756 to 1758. At this time frontier defenses against the Indians were weak and mainly left to the local settlers to organize.

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A South Mountain Self-Guided Freedom Hike Along the Appalachian Trail

The Freedom Hike explores the Appalachian Trail through South Mountain and begins at Caledonia State Park.

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History in Chambersburg: John Brown

Some view John Brown as a hero and others see him as a villain. John Brown’s Raid on Harpers in October 1859 ignited a spark that led to America’s Civil War. Brown’s northern headquarters was in Chambersburg at the Mary Ritner Boarding House, often referred to as the “John Brown House.” It is a National Park Service Network to Freedom site and is recognized by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

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A Franklin County Self-Guided Frontier Tour

Franklin County was the American frontier in the 1730s. Scots Irish and German immigrants settled in Franklin County, bringing a desire to build a new home. From settlements, forts, and sites of Native attacks—many frontier Franklin County sties and stories portray this early American history.

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Franklin County Underground Railroad

In the early days of America, the spirit of freedom and opportunity attracted many settlers to Franklin County. This same spirit of freedom extended beyond the colonial period as the condition of slavery came to an end in the North and accelerated in the South.

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African American Veterans of Franklin County

Buffalo Soldiers of Franklin County.

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Harriet Lane Johnston: May 9, 1830 – July 3, 1903

Harriet Lane’s education, both formal and informal, prepared her well for the responsibilities that lay ahead of her.  Harriet Rebecca Lane, later Harriet Lane Johnston, niece of President James Buchanan, was hostess in the White House during her uncle’s Presidency from 1857 to 1861.The daughter of Elliott Tole Lane, whose family was from the area of Charles Town, Virginia, now West Virginia, and Jane Buchanan Lane, she was born in Mercersburg on May 9, 1830, in a large brick house across the street from what had been her Grandfather Buchanan’s store and home.

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Caledonia State Park

The 1,125-acre Caledonia State Park is in Adams and Franklin counties, midway between Chambersburg and Gettysburg along the Lincoln Highway, US 30. The park is nestled within South Mountain, the northern terminus of the well-known Blue Ridge Mountain of Maryland and Virginia. Within South Mountain there are four state parks and 84,000 acres of state forest land waiting to be explored and enjoyed. The soils on either side of South Mountain are ideal for fruit production, proven by the abundance of orchards in the surrounding area.

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Mont Alto State Park

This quiet park features a unique pavilion, picnicking and trout fishing. Mont Alto is the oldest park still in the Pennsylvania state park system.

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A Midnight Battle Along The Mason Dixon Line

The Battle of Monterey Pass engaged 10,000 Union and Confederate soldiers in the Retreat from Gettysburg. It was fought in the late hours of July 4 and early hours of July 5th during a raging and blinding thunderstorm. The battle included Confederate General Grumble Jones and Union General George Custer.

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A South Mountain Hike of Civil War History

The hike showcases the Appalachian Trail portions of northern MD and southern PA, following the South Mountain Range. It is a chance to literally walk or hike through history.

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Monterey Pass Booklet

Take an in-depth, encompassing look at Pennsylvania’s second largest battle, fought on the retreat of the Battle of Gettysburg. The booklet provides information about the invasion of PA, the advance to Gettysburg, and the retreat when the Battle of Monterey Pass occurred.

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Shippensburg Civil War trail

A self-guided walking tour.  The war comes to a small town in Pennsylvania.  When war broke out in 1861, Shippensburg was an ordinary small town in PA.  By the war’s end, its residents had witnessed some of the most extraordinary events of the Civil War.  The Shippensburg Civil War Trail brings you face to face with a community experiencing a monumental moment in American history.

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9/11 Tribute: Reflect and remember

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a vibrant blue sky framed the familiar Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the tallest buildings in New York City and centerpieces of the skyline. Forty thousand people began their work day as they ordinarily would but the events to follow would forever change America. The memorial to remember the events of September 11th and to honor the people who died and who saved lives became a fixture at Red Run Park in Waynesboro, PA on September 11, 2013.

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The Letterkenny Chapel

One of the most heart-wanning remembrances of the World War Il years, and the years afterwards at Letterkenny is its Chapel. The
human interest sto1y behind its conception and the recounting of the religious charity of the men of the Italian Service Units who built it leave indelible impressions on all who hear of these events.

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Franklin Fresh Food & Dining

Farms are the lifeblood of Franklin County! With a nearly 9 month growing season, Franklin County has juicy ripe peaches, crisp ripe apples, artisan cheeses, fruit wines, potatoes and so much fresh food. This publication spotlights freshness! Visitors and locals can experience roadside stands, creameries and what makes our food Franklin County Fresh!

 

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The Burning of Chambersburg

The lights, the fire, the crowds…Chambersburg stood strong after being burned more than 150 years ago by Confederate troops. Every year, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau helps bring history to life and remembers these historic events by re-enacting the burning and rebuilding of the town. Be a part of this exciting show and put your business in front of thousands in attendance! Display at the event is included in advertising.

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Franklin County Wedding & Event Planner

Franklin County is home to beautiful venues, bed and breakfasts, chocolatiers, florists, tailors, bakeries and photographers all ready to make your special day an unforgettable experience. The planner includes a listing of local services and points of interest with information about the area for couples. The publication is handed out at local bridal shows throughout the four state region!

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Trail of History
Walking Tour of Greencastle

Old-fashioned charm and friendliness describe Greencastle perfectly. Located near the Maryland state line along the I-81 corridor, Greencastle was founded in 1782 by John Allison, a personal friend of George Washington. First came the Baltimore turnpike and then the Cumberland Valley Railroad passed through town. Today visitors can glimpse vestiges of the era at the old passenger station along the highline at West Baltimore and Jefferson Streets.

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The Greater Waynesboro, PA Area Appalachian Trail Community

On April 26, 2014, The Greater Waynesboro (PA) Area became the third community in Pennsylvania award-ed this distinction. Situated along the Mason-Dixon line near the A.T.’s midpoint, this is a perfect place to re-supply, rest or arrange a flip-flop hike. Easily accessible from the Baltimore/D.C. corridor, as well as Interstate 81, the Greater Waynesboro Area has a wide variety of businesses and services to offer, including an outdoors festival in June.

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Downtown Chambersburg Historic Walking Tour Part 1

Historic and beautiful, Chambersburg is the seat of justice for Franklin County. Settled in 1734 by Scots-Irish immigrant Benjamin Chambers, Chambersburg has long been known for its excellent location. Majestic Memorial Fountain marks the crossroads of the historic Lincoln Highway—U.S. Route 30—and Route 11. Raided, invaded, and devastated by fire in 1864, the fountain and the bronze sentry are monuments to the soldiers of the Civil War.

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Downtown Chambersburg Historic Walking Tour Part 2

Historic and beautiful, Chambersburg is the seat of justice for Franklin County. Settled in 1734 by Scots-Irish immigrant Benjamin Chambers, Chambersburg has long been known for its excellent location. Majestic Memorial Fountain marks the crossroads of the historic Lincoln Highway—U.S. Route 30—and Route 11. Raided, invaded, and devastated by fire in 1864, the fountain and the bronze sentry are monuments to the soldiers of the Civil War.

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A Franklin County Self-Guided Civil War Walking Tour

Memorial Square in Chambersburg is often referred to as “The Crossroads of the Country” because it brings together two strategic transportation corridors in Route 30 and Route 11. The square, known in earlier times as the Diamond, houses a number of Civil War sites and stories.

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A South Mountain Self Guided Freedom Drive

Pick up the freedom jouney of the Underground Railroad through South Moun-tain just south of the Mason Dixon Line. Many escaping enslaved used the Potomac River to move closer to the safe houses of the north. Knoxville, MD, located along the Potomac River and adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, is a good point of access to the natural travel corridor of the South Mountain, passing from Maryland into Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania’s Civil War Trails – Road to Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Breadbasket

War is a choice, sometimes unavoidable, but always a choice nonetheless. Within this decision is an infinite depth of others. Fight or run? Attack or defend? Press on or surrender?  And it is within these choices, both big and small, that great people are forged, great stories told, great moments defined. It is within these choices that generals decide the fates of their men and weigh lives against possibilities.

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Pennsylvania’s Civil War Trails – Road to Gettysburg – Defending the Commonwealth

Change is inevitable. Often it happens over years, unnoticed, until the world looks a little different than it did and no one can quite figure out when or why or how it happened. The Road to Gettysburg begins to tell the story of the cost and sacrifice of our Commonwealth, for the common good.

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Out of the Ore: Birds & Blooms
A South Mountain Walk Through Nature, Conservation and History

In the 1800s, the natural resources of South Mountain fueled the iron ore industry. Plentiful timber, water, and iron ore kept the furnace stacks of South Mountain working day and night. For decades the iron industry stripped the life from South Mountain, leaving a blank landscape, void of natural resources and habitats. Out of the iron ore industry, the Pennsylvania conservation initiative took shape.  Today, the furnace site is home to hundreds of bird, wildlife, insect, tree, and plant species.

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Montgomery Peters Mercersburg Connectivity: Bicycle Map

Our roads are beautiful and scenic, gently rolling and turning. Cars, bicycles, and walkers generally do well sharing the road; however these are not official bike routes. Riders assume all risks. Please remain alert and follow proper safety protocols when cycling.

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Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park

Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park is an 18.5-acre park nestled in a gap of Tuscarora Mountain in Franklin County. The park and the surrounding forested mountains offer an abundance of beauty throughout the year.  In addition to the president’s memorial are two picnic pavilions, picnic tables.  Buck Run flows through the park and hosts a population of native trout. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations on approved trout waters apply to Buck Run.

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Cowan’s Gap State Park

Cowans Gap State Park is a 1,085-acre park in the beautiful Allens Valley of Fulton County. A 42-acre lake, two campgrounds, rustic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built cabins, and many hiking trails are prime attractions. State forest land surrounds the park, providing additional land for recreation and natural beauty in all seasons

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Monterey Pass Battlefield Walking Tour

Experience the Monterey Pass Battlefield by foot. This walking tour is just over two miles and takes about two hours. Explore and learn about the battle that was fought in four counties of two states and is the second largest battle in PA.

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Monterey Pass Battlefield:  Self Guided Driving Tour

Monterey Pass Driving Tour identifies key points of the Battle of Monterey Pass, showcasing the terrain that remains rugged to this day. It takes approximately 2.5-3 hours to explore the sites.

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African American Historic Sites of Mercersburg: A Living Legacy

The African American community in Mercersburg traces its roots to efforts by religious and community leaders in the late eighteenth century to manumit, or free, held slaves in PA.  In addition, to freedmen, the community’s members included newly manumitted slaves and runaway slaves from Southern States.

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Historic Alleys of Mercersburg

Mercersburg History.

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John Brown 1859 in Chambersburg: Freedom Fighter or Fanatic?

Chambersburg, PA history.

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Automobile/Walking Tour of Old Forge Historical Sites

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