A passion for American history is alive and well in Pennsylvania, with a monumental contribution of $1,000,000 to support the Conococheague Institute and Mercersburg Academy. This generous donation made by philanthropist Robert Kurtz Jr will be equally split between these two remarkable institutions, each providing new experiences for students and stimulating a passion for early American history in the community.

For the Conococheague Institute, a 30-acre, 18th century museum and homestead (located near Mercersburg, Franklin County, PA), this donation marks a giant stride towards securing historical opportunities for the local youth for the years to come.

“As our endowment builds, we’ll unlock new avenues of growth and become eligible for additional grant funding opportunities, further enhancing our mission,” said Matthew Wedd, Executive Director of CI. “Planning for the future, we can now look at 5 and 10 year goals, and can’t wait to share the journey with the community. The students who engage in our programs are a huge reason for this donation, as they prove to our donors that history matters to the next generation!”

Mercersburg Academy and the Conococheague Institute have a wonderful history of collaboration with students actively participating in preservation and conservation efforts. Students have been instrumental in cemetery restoration, tree plantings, invasive species removal, and gardening projects.

Last year, thanks to Mr. Kurtz’s previous endowment, a new annual program was introduced ‘Can You Live 18th Century.’ This initiative allows 12 high school students to immerse themselves in 18th-century life, complete with period clothing and technology, during a two-week experience at CI. Due to its novel nature the program received the prestigious PA Museums Institutional Achievement award.

More recently, Mr. Kurtz’s support enabled the Conococheague Institute to create two paid high school intern positions, providing early career development opportunities to budding historians and preservationists.

The future of the frontier is looking bright, and every contribution helps. Learn more about the Conococheague Institute at www.cimlg.org. The 30 acre site located at 12995 Bain Road, Mercersburg, PA, 17236 offers free historic programs every Saturday from 10am to 5pm, has nature trails and grounds open daily from dawn to dusk, and takes education bookings year round. Email info@cimlg.org for more details or call 717-328-2800.