Friends of South Mountain Partnership Launched to Provide Membership, Financial and Capacity Building Support

Friends of South Mountain Partnership Launched to Provide Membership, Financial and Capacity Building Support

The South Mountain Partnership (SMP) is excited to announce a new collaboration with The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC). SMP is launching the Friends of South Mountain Partnership – a Project of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, fiscal sponsor, that allows for membership and tax deductible donations to further the cause of the partnership.

The SMP is a regional, landscape-scale conservation project in south-central Pennsylvania launched in 2006 to envision and secure a sustainable future for the South Mountain landscape. TFEC was established in 1920 as The Greater Harrisburg Foundation as an organization “to support community members seeking to create long-lasting, meaningful impact.” TFEC handles donated assets and creates permanent funds, investment, and grantmaking for the benefit of local nonprofits in the region, and inspires giving by partnering with donors to achieve their charitable goals, and strengthens our local communities by investing in them now, and for future generations.

Janet Pollard, Executive Director of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau and a member of the SMP Leadership Committee said that “The Foundation For Enhancing Communities opens a new door for the South Mountain Partnership by bringing more exposure to its work and vastly increasing the Partnership’s relationship-building capacity through the Friends Group, while growing recognition throughout southcentral PA.”

“I am thrilled to launch the Friends of the South Mountain Partnership for many reasons, one of which is financial,” said SMP Director, Katie Hess. “To ensure the partnership is a resilient and powerful force for good in our region, our Friends group will start by offering memberships and securing tax deductible donations from interested individuals and businesses, and will soon launch a corporate sponsorship program. Our first and only consistent source of funding since 2006 has come from competitive grants submitted for the Commonwealth’s Environmental Stewardship Fund through Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. However, that special fund is consistently threatened for redistribution into Pennsylvania’s general fund during annual budget negotiations. Residents in our region deserve more investment, not less, and we will continue to help attract sustainable investment to the region.”

“Another reason is embodied by our tag line of ‘one million people, one future.’ The future quality of life and wealth of our children and communities depends on the work that we do right now to conserve our landscape resources, create vibrant communities, share a common sense of place, and collaborate on well-planned growth and sustainable economic development. We will continue to come together to build community and investments that are based on this region’s natural strengths and carried out in sustainable ways.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Friends of the South Mountain Partnership and how you can provide tax free support to the organization, please visit

Allison Antrim Museum Reprises “As They Saw The Rebels: Civilian Observations of the Antietam and Gettysburg Campaigns” by Ted Alexander

Allison Antrim Museum Reprises “As They Saw The Rebels: Civilian Observations of the Antietam and Gettysburg Campaigns” by Ted Alexander

Allison Antrim Museum invites the public to step back to summer, July 2013, to hear and see Ted Alexander, presenting his original talk As They Saw The Rebels: Civilian Observations of the Antietam and Gettysburg Campaigns. Listen here on the museum website.

Ted Alexander had a special relationship with Allison-Antrim Museum. Ted passed away on July 8. He was a charter member of Allison-Antrim Museum and served on the Board of Directors. In 2001, he moved into the appointed position of “Historian” for the Museum.

Ted was the creator of the monthly speaker series beginning in 1997 and arranged for 99% of the speakers and topics. He knew people nationwide and insisted that the monthly speakers could “not” all be Civil-War speakers. Ted spoke to the membership numerous times over the past two decades.

Every Old Home Week, Ted would have a special presentation for visitors and the audiences were full. He also performed duties as one of the interviewers for the Museum’s Reminiscing Series. One Old Home Week he led the panel discussion with Vietnam Veterans. Ted served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

Ted was both a local historian and Civil War historian and was the author of and or editor of 10 books on the Civil War. He authored the book “The 126th Pennsylvania” about Franklin County’s Civil War veterans and co-authored “When War Passed this Way,” with his uncle William P. Conrad. Ted was a descendant of two members of the 126th PA Regiment.

For many years, Ted wrote a weekly column for the Echo Pilot – related to the Civil War. It was a column that was widely read. Saying, “Ted had many followers,” is an understatement. I talked to Ted too many times over the past two decades to specifically recall any or all the questions and topics that I had about Antrim Township and Greencastle, not only related to the Civil War but also related to the general history of Greencastle-Antrim.

Bonnie Shockey, president and CEO of Allison Antrim, remembered Ted, “On a phone call a couple months ago, Ted was thinking about a new Corp Rihl, four-stop “tour” for Antrim Township. I’ve known Ted since seventh grade but over the last 22 years, through the Museum, our friendship crossed the spectrum from classmate, to professional, and that of very good friend. Ted is greatly missed, and no one will be able to fill his shoes, or rise to his level of “historian.”

With sincere thanks, Ted’s wife, Billy, and daughter, Rica, have graciously designated memorial contributions may be given to Allison-Antrim Museum, 365 South Ridge Ave., Greencastle, PA 17225.

Institute at Renfrew Garden Talks

Institute at Renfrew Garden Talks

The Institute at Renfrew announces a new series of small-group garden talks. Conducted by three of the Institute’s gardening experts, the talks will take place in the four-square garden at Renfrew Park. 

The series begins on August 4, and will run on six Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. through Sept. 8.

The talks will cover a wide range of topics from gardening basics and tips to plant families, companion planting, garden crop rotation and more,” said Pam Hind Rowland, the Institute’s director of historical studies and an accomplished gardener. 

The other presenters are Melissa Irwin, the Institute’s garden director, and Doris Goldman, former garden director. Goldman was instrumental in planning and creating the four-square garden, which is based on historic Pennsylvania German gardens. 

“Although we will be talking within our four-square garden, the topics covered will apply to anyone’s home garden,” Irwin said. “We’ll move about the four-square garden to illustrate some of the topics discussed.”

The scheduled topics are as follows:  

Aug. 4: Plant Families: An Overview

Aug. 11: Gardening Basics and Tips

Aug. 18: Herbs

Aug. 25: Using the Principles of Nature for Success in the Garden: Soil, Water, and Fertilizer

Sept. 1: Beneficial Insects, Pests, and Plant Diseases    

Sept. 8: Using Plants as Natural Dyes

In compliance with Franklin County’s Green Phase, safety measures are in place for the talks. They are outdoors only; no indoor activities. All participants should bring a mask. Mask use is optional during appropriate (6 foot) distancing, and required when appropriate distancing isn’t possible. There is no seating available in the garden.

Pre-registration is required. The cost is $5. To register, email the Institute at or call 717-762-0373. Payment must be received before reservation can be confirmed, and PayPal is available on the Institute website: Participation is limited to 15 people per session.

This program is underwritten in part by Marge Kiersz, Lucinda D. Potter, CPA, and SEK CPAs and Advisors, with additional support from The Institute at Renfrew’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: 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 is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.

Parking is in Renfrew Park’s lower lot. If unable to walk to the four-square garden, arrangements may be made to park behind the Fahnestock barn, adjacent to the garden. (Please contact the Institute office.)



SATURDAY JULY 25, 2020 from 10 AM to 5 PM
If you can drive them, they are welcome!
$5.00 minimum donation / registration per vehicle BENEFITS local cancer patient, LISA HATCH
In loving memory of our Cancer Angels: Darlene Brechbiel Haugh & Debbie Eddy Mumma

LIVE MUSIC by DING! from 1-4 PM
VENDORS & FOOD TRUCKS 10 am – 5 pm

GOODY BAGS for the first 15 Registered, sponsored by Hip Gypsy Emporium
GRASS SURFACE! Canopies are welcomed and recommended.
All vehicles must be driven onto the field.

Please note: Due to the concerns about the effects that Covids has had on small buiness, we will not be awarding door prizes. Let’s celebrate a day of community and all those touched by cancer.

Music Spotlight:  Jason Sheffield

Music Spotlight: Jason Sheffield

Hungry for some more local music? Well, you are in luck because it is another Music Spotlight! This week’s edition of Music Spotlight focuses on a full-time, hardworking musician with a creative mind that does not stop. His name is Jason Sheffield.

Originally from McConnellsburg, PA, Jason is now residing in the historic town of Gettysburg. He is a seasoned musician who has been doing his thing for many years. His music and career have taken him to many towns and cities all over. From doing tours down the east coast, to busking on the board walk of Ocean City, Maryland, Jason Sheffield is a musician who doesn’t rest.

When it comes to music, Jason covers a variety of cover songs paired with his catchy originals. The covers played by Jason do not always resemble the original tune. More so, Jason attempts to put is own personal touch on the particular song that is played. It is intriguing to see and hear because it exhibits his innate ability for creativity. This same aspect holds true for his originals. When hearing a Jason Sheffield original, you cannot help, but to be hooked and pulled in by is groovy guitar rhythms. Then in comes his voice with catchy words and phrasing. It also falls into the same entrancing rhythm evoked by his guitar playing style.

Wanting to know more about Jason Sheffield? If yes, that is perfect because you can find him on Facebook via his personal page. He is also active on Instagram at “iamjasonsheffield”.

But for a little taste of Jason’s work, here he is performing his original “Inside My Head”  on YouTube:

Exciting Changes are Underway at Conococheague Institute

Exciting Changes are Underway at Conococheague Institute

The Conococheague Institute at Rock Hill Farm in Franklin County is pleased to announce that Matthew Wedd joined as the site’s new Operations Manager in early June. With more than ten years of experience in historical education and preservation, Matthew plans to use his many skills to oversee development and growth of the Conococheague Institute.

Matthew previously worked as a Historical Interpreter at Fort Frederick State Park in Big Pool, MD, and as a Historical Custodian at Old Sarum Castle in Salisbury, UK. In these roles, he focused on informal education and providing meaningful cultural experiences to the public, program and exhibit development, natural resources cultivation, and volunteer coordination.

Regarding his new role, Matthew shares, “With historic homes, idyllic walks, birding, and other nature opportunities, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy at the Conococheague Institute.”

Though the site’s buildings and historic structures are closed to the public due to COVID-19, considerable work is underway to improve the site’s aesthetics and educational resources.

Volunteers and staff have dedicated hundreds of hours to improve the site’s gardens, trails, and building exteriors. To increase accessibility during COVID-19 closures, the Conococheague Institute is developing walking tours, now available in outdoor holders. Regular virtual programs are released on the Conococheague Institute’s Facebook page and their YouTube channel every Sunday.

The Conococheague Institute’s summer efforts will be on improving the Negley Cabin and Piper Tavern. As outdoor areas, they are easier to interpret during the Pandemic. With a new focus on hands-on history, these historic structures are perfect for school programs, workshops, and living history demonstrations in the future.

Thanks to a generous donation of $2,000 from volunteer Dennis Kubicki, the site purchased cooking equipment for the Negley Cabin and Piper Tavern. This donation was further utilized to buy fabric for clothing workshops, and so that the site’s team of volunteers can tailor 18th Century clothes for both volunteers and visitors. With similar donations, the Conococheague Institute hopes to embark on similar improvements and programming potential.

Led by Board Member Chuck Holland, volunteers and staff have relaunched a project to build a fully operational 18th Century bake oven. Thanks to a generous donation of lumber from Hicksville Planning Mill, work will soon begin to build the roof of the bake oven using staff and volunteers.

A new complimentary children’s ‘Explorer’ activity pack is in development and be available soon for families with young children to enjoy while visiting the Conococheague Institute.

Even in the heat of Summer, new visitors have been stopping by daily, drawn by social media activity. The site hopes that the momentum of engaged visitor activity continues to build.

COMING August 1:  Midsummer Memories: A Glimpse of Colonial Life & Crafts FREE EVENT – An 18th Century Open Grounds Day where visitors may enjoy the many acres of CI safely as staff and volunteers interpret the history of the Appalachian frontier. More on Eventbrite.


The mission of the Conococheague Institute is to develop and foster awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the cultural and natural history of the Appalachian frontier of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The Institute strives to achieve its mission through education, research, and preservation.