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. 

Fort Loudoun Colonial Days

Fort Loudoun Colonial Days

Fort Loudoun Historical Society invites all to Colonial Day at Fort Loudoun on Saturday June 16th, 9am to 3pm. Fort Loudoun was a provincial fort built in 1756 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 site of James Smith’s Black Boys Rebellion in 1765 which was depicted in the 1939 Film “Allegheny Uprising” starring John Wayne.

The event, sponsored by Fort Loudoun Historical Society, is free and family friendly.  Smell the campfires and hearth cooking, see log hewing and blacksmithing, and hear the tales of the 18th century frontier.  Demonstrations will be happening all day; fort repair by the Kittatinny Associators, blacksmithing by Mark Heckman, open hearth cooking by Rich Fox, axe throwing by Rob Schmelzlen, colonial farming and livestock by Dale Zimmerman, fiber arts by Bev Sanders, Native American Culture by Deb “Turtle” Swartz, and 18th Century medicine by Dr. Lee Davis.  Three lectures on topics related to Fort Loudoun:

  • 10 AM – History of Fort Loudoun by Andrew Newman
  • 11 AM – Native American Dress & Customs by Deb “Turtle” Swartz
  • 1 PM – Indian Raids on the Frontier by Calvin Bricker

For kids only, there will be a scavenger hunt and other activities. Children complete tasks, receive an award and compete for a chance to the win the grand prize drawing held at the Patton House at 3 PM.

Food, snacks, drinks and merchandise available for purchase from gift shop in the Patton House.

The Fort Loudoun Historical Society, a 501c3 tasked with managing and interpreting the fort site, is in the process of rebuilding the fort and making improvements.  It is launching a “Buy a Log” campaign to help close the gap on funding the project.  Be part of the fort’s future.