Since 2020, the Conococheague Institute (a 30 acre historic site located near Mercersburg, PA) has been offering free 18th Century Living History programs every Saturday year round. This consistent community
resource has seen the organization grow in popularity with increased visitation. As such, the organizatio was named the 2022 Non-Profit of the Year with its Executive Director being named the 2022 Educator of
the Year through the Cumberland Valley Business Alliance.
Now as part of the organization’s growth, the Conococheague Institute (CI) will be offering additional changing-themed programs every month, to make each visit a new experience. From 10am to 5pm, the museum offers exhibits and life demonstrations (living history) of 18th Century frontier life such as gardening, hearth cooking and crafts. Visitors can draw water from a well, play period games in the tavern, try on colonial fashions or help out in the kitchen garden.
The new monthly themed programs are in addition to this ongoing living history. The organization’s website and social media will be updated with what’s going on including spinning wheel workshops, butter
making, archery, nature crafts, tree plantings and weapons demonstrations. The new monthly themed programs will have varying times from all day workshops, to timed hikes, or scheduled hour
CI’s Executive Director Matthew Wedd explained “People have been loving our views into frontier life with our living history, and that will continue: Our garden and cabins need regular attention after all. But these
new themed months will allow us to explore more diverse topics, and utilize all of our cultural and natural resources. We tested it last November for Native American Heritage Month. We had a special program on
Indigenous uses of medical plants, and another on Arrowheads and Archery. Both were very popular and the latter created great connections between our more traditional museum exhibits that include 100’s of
Indigenous lithics, and our-hands on history with archery sessions. We also noticed that adults wanted to try a new skill as much as the kids.
Combining our living history, exhibits, these new themed programs and our nature trails and dog walks makes it even more appealing to spend an entire day here with your family”. The new themed programs will also allow for more guest educators such as birding groups, craftspeople and lecturers.
In January, programs on calligraphy, spinning and distaffs, winter bird feeders and a cloak making workshop have all been scheduled. Programs planned for February will explore the lives of enslaved
people on the frontier during Black History Month. Some programs may require an RSVP to organize program supplies, but the Conococheague Institute looks forward to exploring even more subjects with its community. For more information on CI and the new programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.