Mercersburg Historical Society Presents Hugh Mercer Symposium June 13 at Mercersburg Academy

Mercersburg Historical Society Presents Hugh Mercer Symposium June 13 at Mercersburg Academy

The Mercersburg Historical Society’ invites history lovers to The Hugh Mercer Symposium on Thursday June 13, 2019, in Kiel Hall of Mercersburg Academy.  Hugh Mercer, namesake of Mercersburg, is an early Scots-Irish settler of the Pennsylvania frontier, selecting land west of the Susquehanna River in the Conococheague Settlement as his home. Mercer, a member of the defeated Jacobite forces of Scotland, fled his home in 1747 for the safety of America. He became the first trained physician in the Conococheague Settlement. Mercer was a close friend and associate to George Washington, ultimately joining in the conflict during the Revolutionary War, where he died in at the Battle of Princeton. Mercer’s death in the battle is the subject of Revolutionary artist John Trumbull’s painting titled The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777.

Presentations planned for the synposium include:

  • Hugh Mercer and The Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland by Mr. Jeff Dacus
  • General Hugh Mercer in the Revolution by Mr. Michael Cecere
  • Hugh Mercer and Freemasonry by Brother Chandler, Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4

All speakers will participate in a panel discussion at the conclusion. The fee for the day-long conference is $40 per person and includes a luncheon. Register on Eventbrite. Contact the Frankin County Visitors Bureau for an invitation or mail payment and attendees to:

Mercersburg Historical Society
Attn: General Hugh Mercer Symposium
P.O. Box 115
Mercersburg, PA 17236


Renfrew Welcomes New Executive Director

Renfrew Welcomes New Executive Director

Becky Young LaBarre has been appointed as the new Executive Director of Renfrew Museum and Park.  LaBarre is a seasoned historic preservation professional with over fifteen years’ experience.   She most recently served as the Director of Planning and Historic Preservation for the Borough of Gettysburg, a position she has held for two and a half years.   Prior to that, LaBarre served as the assistant curator for the Glessner House and Clarke House Museums in Chicago, Illinois between 2010-2015.   During her tenure at the museums she managed collections, guest programming, docent education, program development and interpretation of the Clarke House Museum, the oldest building remaining in the original Chicago city limits.  She served as the assistant director of the Glessner House Museum from 2015-2016 where she oversaw the administration, educational programming, interpretation, collections management, fundraising, and community engagement for Glessner House (1887), Henry Hobson Richardson’s architectural masterpiece in Chicago’s Prairie Avenue Historic District.  LaBarre was also a Master Historic Presenter at The Henry Ford, Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI.

In 2008, she co-founded the Petticoat Society, an independent living history organization based in the Chicago area which interprets domestic life and material culture to the public through authentic living history interpretation. She regularly cultivated partnerships with other living history groups, museums, and historic sites.  She researched, developed, and implemented mission-specific interpretive content based on the needs of the host site.

LaBarre is “looking forward to taking an active role in the long legacy of architectural, cultural, and environmental stewardship as well as the strong sense of community embodied by Renfrew Museum and Park. It’s a very significant historic site that has been lovingly cared for over the centuries both by its former owners and more recent generations of caretakers and visitors that have adopted it as their own. To step into this continuum as Renfrew’s next Executive Director is both exciting and humbling. The hard work and tender care by those who came before has positioned Renfrew to achieve its mission and engage audiences in meaningful and impactful ways. I’m looking forward to growing the institution’s capacity to share, teach, delight, preserve, and progress as we move forward together into Renfrew Museum and Park’s next chapter.”  She has a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design from Adrian College.  She and her husband, Steve, reside in Fairfield Historic District in Pennsylvania.

Greg White, President of the Renfrew Committee Inc. board of directors stated, ““We were excited to attract such a strong and diverse field of candidates.  With Becky, we feel we’ve hired a skill-set that will allow Renfrew Museum and Park to build upon the solid foundation that was established during Dade Royer’s tenure.  Becky’s experience in Museums, dealing with State and local governments, and her passion for the authentic interpretation of history will be extremely valuable as we move Renfrew forward.  She is a proven leader with a great vision for what Renfrew can be.”

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Announces Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center Photography Contest

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Announces Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center Photography Contest

Calling all picture takers to Franklin County PA for the Franklin County Visitors Bureau’s Photo Contest. The buds of spring are popping into leaves, so, grab a camera and enter your best shots. The Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) is seeking a shot of the new 11/30 Visitors Center for the cover of its 2019-2020 Franklin County Visitors Guide. The new 11/30 Visitors Center is located at 15 South Main, on the southwest corner of Chambersburg’s square and next to Central Presbyterian Church. The photographer of the shot selected for the cover image will win $250. Photos of the 11/30 Visitors Center must be submitted by May 20, 2019.

In addition to the cover photo for the Franklin County Visitors Guide, FCVB is seeking cover images for:

  • On the Move in Franklin County Rec Guide
  • Franklin Fresh Food & Dining Guide
  • Franklin County Military Trail of History
  • Franklin County Wedding & Event Planner

The photographer of the cover image for these publications will win $100. All photos for these publications must be submitted by July 15, 2019.

Photographers can opt to be part of the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center Photography Exhibit by submitting an 8”x10” print. FCVB will be displaying submitted photos, beginning May 20 and running through July 20, 2019. So, not only is there a chance to win hundreds in cash, it is an opportunity to showcase your photography at the 11/30 Visitors Center.

Details, rules, and necessary forms of the FCVB 11/30 Visitors Center Photography Contest are available online here or by calling 866.646.8060 or 717.552.2977.

2019 Race Against Poverty Set For Downtown Chambersburg

2019 Race Against Poverty Set For Downtown Chambersburg

Hard to believe, the Race Against Poverty, set for June 7 through downtown Chambersburg, is less than a month away. It is the 9th Annual Race Against Poverty, working to empower families to break the cycle of poverty and build long-term stability . There is still time to sign up. Register as an individual here.  Register as a team here. Register as a duo here.

Race Against Poverty has become so much more than just a 5k walk or run. It is a fun community event with music, Kids Runs, vendors–including Bernard’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken–festive atmosphere, plus lots of cool door prizes. Most of all, it helps such an important cause. To learn more about the value of Race Against Poverty, visit  Please share on social media and use #RAP5k.

Renfrew Institute Hold Youth Fest on May 26

Renfrew Institute Hold Youth Fest on May 26

“Be a Hero!” is the theme for Renfrew Institute’s 30th annual Youth Festival on Sunday, May 26 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro, Pa. The event is free and open to the public.Geared for kids of all ages, the event features a variety of workshops, demonstrations, activities, and entertainment throughout the day.“Heroes are found in all walks of life—we are celebrating community heroes, first responders, pet rescuers, and many more everyday heroes,” said Jessica Watson, the institute’s assistant director. “Kids will enjoy an interactive experience that is fun and educational.”

In keeping with the theme, the featured guest entertainment, at 2:15 p.m., will be “Heroic King Arthur and the Sword and the Stone,” performed by members of the Maryland Entertainment Group (MEG).The fast-paced show performed by two actors playing multiple roles tells the story of how Arthur becomes King. The tale of young Arthur is full of castles, wizards, magic, and a special feat that earns Arthur the crown.“This is a fun, interactive, and kid-friendly tale of The Sword in the Stone, where an unlikely hero becomes the champion of his people,” Watson said. MEG’s mission is to provide “exceptional and relevant performing and visual arts to the greater Hagerstown area and surrounding community, for the purposes of diversifying and enriching the artistic offerings in the area, providing opportunities for artists and performers, and cultivating a broader arts audience.”

At 4:30 p.m. the Waynesboro Children’s Theatre Troupe returns to its roots with a revue of favorite show tunes, featuring a selection of Broadway classics and songs from the stage and screen. A Hero Hunt will celebrate 30 years of Youth Fest—kids can search for 30 special wooden necklaces hidden throughout the lower park. (Please, one find per family.)

Workshops and fun activities run from 1:00–2:00 p.m. and 3:30–4:30 p.m. and are open to all ages.and include:

• Paper Bag Hero: Create your own “paper bag hero puppet” to display on the Art Clothesline, with Amber Naugle.

• Stories that Save the Day: Enjoy stories of victors and avengers with Alexander Hamilton Memorial Library.

• Protectors of our Planet: Kathy Helfrick and Jane Glenn will lead park citizens in a fun environmental project, making “Flower Seed Bombs.”

• Fantastic Beasts: Observe diverse critters you know and love from your own backyard, up close with Sheila and Bryan Eyler.

• Pup Protectors: Knick Knack Pittie Pack introduces their rescued dogs.

• Ambulance Avengers: Meet the heroes of Waynesboro Ambulance Squad who save lives every day in our community.

• Super Sensory Powers: Explore special sensory packets to enhance fine motor play skills with First Start Partnerships for Children & Families.

• Pollinators for the Planet: Keep the buzz going when Kim Sheffler leads a Mason Bee Home project.

• Paddling for Peace & Justice: Charge your way through the waterway as you paddle a stretch of our own Antietam Creek with Mr. Mike Dudash as your guide. (Bring water shoes, dry clothes and a towel for after your paddle.)Youth

Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, contact the institute at (717) 762-0373 or email to: Fliers are available at For those wishing to have lunch in the park, St. Andrew Catholic Church Youth Group will be hosting a food concession.

Youth Festival is underwritten in part by lead sponsors, John and Debbie Beck, and by contributions to the Today’s Horizon Fund by The Nora Roberts Foundation; The John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation; APX Enclosures, Inc.; and The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin. Facility support courtesy of Renfrew Museum. The event was organized by co-chairs Jessica McCleary and Terri Smith. Parking is available behind the visitors center, with additional parking in Renfrew’s lower lot off Welty Road. Rain location is Waynesboro Area Middle School.