Franklin County Historical Society, Long Rifles Exhibit

Franklin County Historical Society, Long Rifles Exhibit

January 29, 2022 – February 12, 2022
Franklin County long rifles from the Estate of Tom Burkey will be on display in the 1880 cell block.
Admission to the exhibit is free, but donations are appreciated.
Exhibit available during open jail hours.
Full tours of the Old Jail will be available for a fee. Benefits the nonprofit historical society.

 

Franklin County Countdown to Halloween

Franklin County Countdown to Halloween

Franklin County has legends, chilling stories, and strange sightings. Have a little Halloween fun and explore some local lore. Is it fact or fiction? Explore a little “haunted history” with the Franklin County Fright Sites Tour. Download Franklin County Fright Sites here to discover haunted happenings at ten sites in Franklin County. Keep alert and be ready to snap a scary photo. Post to Facebook.com/FCVBen or send photos—both scary and fun–to bkellerman@explorefranklincountypa.com and be entered into Franklin County Visitors Bureau’s grand prize drawing. Share up to three photos at each site; each photo equals one entry.

Grand prize is breakfast and dinner for two at Franklin County dining location(s) of winner’s choice. The winner also receives Franklin County Ghosts by Athena Varounis—more startling stories to read again and again. The creepiest photo will get a special prize—dinner for two at winner’s choice of Franklin County restaurant and a copy of Franklin County Ghosts. Plus, two runner-up prizes will be awarded.

Franklin County has trunk or treats and trick or treating throughout the communities of Franklin County. plus, spooky family fun.

  • Visit Country Creek Produce Farm in Shippensburg and take a moonlit hayride, go flashlight picking in the pumpkin patch and enjoy the corn maze at night on October 30 & 31.
  • Chambersburg Community Theatre is going virtual for Halloween with Bram Stoker’s Dracula For Kids. It airs, beginning Friday, October 30 and can be viewed again and again over the next two weeks. Sign up by donation here.
  • Outdoor movies are magic, and especially Hocus Pocus, showing outdoors at Fort Loudon Community Center on Friday, October 30 at 7:30 PM.

For older kids or adults, it is a fright-filled Friday at Stoner’s Dairy Farm in Mercersburg on October 31, 7 PM-11 PM. Gather some courage, bring a flashlight, and get ready for ghouls, ghosts, and scary ones, lurking in the corn. Brussels Café and Relax in Chambersburg are holding costume parties. Details and more Halloween Countdown fun for all ages here.

Franklin County Old Jail Turns 200

Franklin County Old Jail Turns 200

If the walls of the Franklin County Old Jail could talk, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau is sure it would want to hear the stories. Located at 175 East King Street in Chambersburg PA, the Old Jail celebrates 200 years in 2018.

Built in 1818 as Franklin County’s third jail, the property’s exterior appearance illustrates the balance and proportion of Georgian architecture. Inside, the old cell walls bear the hand scratched messages of former inmates, who marked off the time they served and recorded their misgivings. The jail housed debtors, thieves, and murderers. The gallows sit in the limestone exercise year and reach back to a time when hangings were social gatherings. By 1920, it became inactive.

Over the years, folklore retells that the Old Jail housed freedom seekers within its walls. It definitely secured John Cook, one of John Brown’s conspirators, before he was transported to Charles Town for his trial and, in the end, his hanging. Just a few years later, in 1862, the Old Jail stood as J.E.B Stuart burned the nearby shops of the Cumberland Valley Railroad and raided its warehouses. As Civil War continued in 1863, it stood unharmed when Robert E. Lee and 70,000 Confederate soldiers headquartered blocks away in the center of town before heading east to Gettysburg. A year later, it was again left untouched as the flames of “Tiger” John McCausland’s burning of Chambersburg destroyed the majority of the town.

In 1971, after serving more than 150 years as the Franklin County Jail, the Old Jail was retired. Today, the physical property houses the Franklin County Historical Society, which is responsible for maintaining the historic property and sharing the history that happened in and around the building. In addition to serving as a museum house, the it houses a genealogy archive.

The Old Jail holds history, is history, and makes history in 2018.