Conococheague Institute Names New Board

Conococheague Institute Names New Board

The Board of Directors of the Conococheague Institute at the historic Rock Hill Farm in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce that it has elected its new slate of Officers for 2021. The following Board Officers were elected unanimously in the Board’s January Meeting:

Betsey Lillard – President

Chuck Holland – Vice President

Josh Faust – Treasurer

Bob Schwartz – Secretary

Former Board President Carol Zehosky’s term having expired she was extremely happy to hand over the reins to such talented successors.  Having seen CI through some interesting years (including a Global Pandemic), Zehosky was glad to be able to end her term with the organization being stronger than ever, both financially and in terms of its staff, programming, and member engagement. “With this talented leadership team, I have every confidence that CI is well-positioned for future success.”

Lillard is a long-time resident of Washington County, MD, and enjoyed a career in the medical profession where she always strove to provide excellent communication with patients. A supporter of the arts and numerous charities such as the Friends of Fort Frederick where she served as chairperson of the 250th Anniversary Celebration of the fort.

Lillard also has a family connection to CI, as founder Dr. John Stauffer recently reminded her- that he and Lillard’s father were both in Boy Scouts together as youngsters as well as being colleagues as physicians. “I look forward to assisting in bringing CI up to its full potential- now and into the future” Lillard said at her confirmation.

2021 will be Vice Presidents Holland’s second year after he stepped up to the title last summer but his background in business leadership makes him a steady rock of support: and someone to count on when a job needs doing.

Faust and Schwartz will be serving their first year as Officers having been elected to the Board by the General Membership in October 2020, but have already instigated a lot of positive changes to the organization as well as their countless volunteer hours. In addition to serving as Treasurer and Secretary, Faust and Schwartz demonstrate the new energy of the next generation of pioneers. As well as their Board Offices, they both will be spearheading History and Nature volunteer management and training in 2021 (Faust is a passionate Historic Interpreter, and Schwartz an Environmental advocate and professional forester) to ensure that CI’s dedicated volunteer corp can serve the public in programming and education to their best degree.

The Board Officers Election is but one more step in expanding CI’s Frontier. With new growth and direction, CI looks forward to bringing the Cultural and Natural Resources of the site to a wider audience than ever before. For more information about CI go to, or show your support by joining their ever-expanding Membership for 2021. 

Return to “1756” on June 15th at Fort Loudoun

Return to “1756” on June 15th at Fort Loudoun

Visit Pennsylvania’s Fort–Fort Loudoun–on Saturday, June 15th and step back in time to 1756 and witness the artisans, laborers and soldiers build features of Fort Loudoun, located at 1720 North Brooklyn Road, Fort Loudon, PA 17224.  See the new fort, new museum, and gift shop.  See demonstrations of blacksmithing, construction, carpentry, weaving, music and hearth cooking.  Participate in 18th Century games, lectures and axe throwing competitions.  Open to the public 10-4.  Entry fee is $5 per car.  The first 100 visitors receive a free small ice cream from Antietam Dairy.  Kids scavenger hunt, games and musket drill. (A detailed schedule at

This year’s theme is “1756”, the year that John Armstrong and his Pennsylvanians built Fort Loudoun. See 18th Century fort construction.  The Pennsylvania Regiment will be busy building a magazine, well house, a drain, a butcher pavilion, as well as putting the finishing touches on the Guard House, the newest addition to the fort. The historical significance of the Guard House, first mentioned in a June 1758 letter to Colonel Henry Bouquet, is that it was where 6 members of James Smith’s Black Boys were held during the Black Boys Rebellion in 1765.  This structure is the same size (12’x16’) as Fort Morris’s Guard House from Shippensburg. The reconstructed Fort Loudoun sits exactly on the spot as it was discovered by Pennsylvania Archaeology in 1978-1982.

Food Vendors: Zach’s Snacks and Hazardous Goods (BBQ) and Antietam Dairy (Ice Cream)

The Fort Loudoun Historical Society is an all-volunteer non-profit organization whose mission it is to interpret and manage the site of Fort Loudoun built in 1756.  Fort Loudoun was a provincial fort built by the Colony of Pennsylvania during the French and Indian war and served as an important supply depot in the line of forts along the Forbes Road.  It was the site of the Cherokee Council with Colonel Henry Bouquet in 1758 and of James Smith’s Black Boys

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


Spring Into History Conococheague Settlement Frontier & Colonial Tour

Spring Into History Conococheague Settlement Frontier & Colonial Tour

Step back 300 years and explore the earliest settlements of Franklin with the Franklin County Visitors Bureau Spring Into History Frontier & Colonial Tour on April 6, 9 AM to 4 PM. Participants will meet at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center to begin the tour with a brief overview of early Franklin County and early America. The tour takes in sites of frontier settlement and raids by the native tribes. Living history portrayers at Conococheague Institute and Fort Loudoun. Learn about these early residents of the Cumberland Valley. Glimpse their lifestyle, culture, customs, and challenges.

Single tickets are $50/ person or two tickets for $75. Bring a friend and save! Lunch is included along with several historical items and information pieces. Payments can be mailed to Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB), 15 South Main Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201 or dropped at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center. For those preferring to register online, the event is live on Eventbrite and can be accessed here. (Eventbrite includes a processing fee.)

Experience a new awareness of American history and gain respect for the frontier settlers in the Spring into History Conococheague Settlement Frontier & Colonial Tour.

Renfrew Museum & Park Seeks Executive Director

Renfrew Museum & Park Seeks Executive Director

Renfrew Museum and Park is seeking candidates for Executive Director.  The Executive Director acts as CEO of the organization, and reports directly to the non-profit Renfrew Committee Inc’s board of directors.  Responsibilities include mission, vision, and values adherence, strategic plan implementation, fundraising and financial development, fiscal management, staff management and development, collections management, and facilities oversight.

Renfrew is a beautifully restored 1800s Pennsylvania German farmstead and 107-acre community park.  Located in south central PA, approximately 75 miles from the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area and 25 miles from Gettysburg, Renfrew attracts tens of thousands of visitors per year.  Originally given to the Borough of Waynesboro by the Nicodemus family, the last private owners of this property, Renfrew Museum and Park opened in 1975.  Renfrew houses the largest public collection of Bell family and Shenandoah pottery in the nation and a fantastic collection of historic tools and artifacts.

Professional Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Museum, historic preservation, or related experience preferred
  • Five or more years senior nonprofit or business management experience preferred
  • Solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
  • Ability to convey a vision of Renfrew Museum and Park’s strategic plan to staff, board, volunteers and donors.
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to the nonprofit sector
  • Marketing experience helpful
  • Strong collaborative skills and experience necessary
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff
  • Strong public speaking skills

Interested candidates should send cover letter and resume to  For more information, please visit our website