Conococheague Institute Offers New Position

Conococheague Institute Offers New Position

Live 18th Century Living History, Immerse yourself in Nature and share your passion with others through Educational Programs. Join the CI team!

The Conococheague Institute (CI) a Non-Profit Museum and Gardens in Franklin County PA, is looking for a passionate employee to increase the Visitor’s Experience of its unique Cultural and Natural Resources

The Historic Warden and Programming Lead will have an incredible opportunity to educate the public on America’s early Colonial History in an engaging and dynamic atmosphere. They will be responsible for maintaining the Historic Garden and perform 18th Century Living History Crafts and programs from the Cabins.

These roles will be performed in 18th Century clothing, to provide an immersive experience as possible for the visitor.

With a unique story of 18th Century Life, our story features Women and Men, Enslaved People, Native Americans, as well as Welsh, English, Scotch-Irish, and German Residents. As such the applicant would have a wide array of stories to portray.

In order to ensure the Visitor has a safe and enjoyable visit, the Historic Warden’s other duties will involve weekly maintenance of the grounds and buildings, as well as behind the scene programming development and other duties as assigned.

Want to live an 18th Century life, and inspire others to appreciate our American Story? Apply now by sending in a resume and cover letter to, or contact CI for more information on the position and more details.

Applications will be accepted until March 10th, and interviews may be conducted in person, virtually, or by phone.

Complete job description below. CI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Harriet Lane: First Lady of Franklin County

Harriet Lane: First Lady of Franklin County

Born on May 9, 1830 in Mercersburg PA, Harriet Lane served as First Lady for her uncle, 15th President James Buchanan. By the time she was ten, both her mother and father died, so James Buchanan took her into his care.

Harriet was a fun loving child who was the ringleader of schoolgirl pranks, but so was she intelligent with always doing well in her studies. Harriet and her uncle became very close. She was his confidante, and she was exposed to the world of politics—something women did not experience in the Victorian era. When she traveled abroad with her uncle, she endeared herself to kings and queens, always leaving them wanting more of her wit, intelligence and humor. Queen Victoria considered her a true friend.

People, who had concerns and problems, would come to Harriet to ask her to bring an issue to President Buchanan’s attention. For example, a member of the Chippewa nation complained to her that a government agent was selling liquor to his people. She intervened to end abuses by government agents and worked for better medical treatment and educational opportunities. She became known to the Chippewa as “Mother of the Indians.”

After she left the white house, she remained involved in education and the arts. and continued her support. When she died in 1903, an important provision of her will was money be given for the clinic in Baltimore that she and her husband had incorporated in 1883 to care for children regardless of race, creed or the ability of the parents to pay. It was called the Harriet Lane Home for invalid Children, now the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Franklin County is proud to have Harriet Lane as its First Lady.

Read more about Harriet Lane here.

Article by Kelly Spinner.

James Buchanan

James Buchanan

The 15th President of The United States of America, James Buchanan, Jr., was born April 23, 1791, in a log cabin in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania (now known as Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park). He was one of eleven children born to James Buchanan Sr., a businessman, merchant, and farmer, and Elizabeth Speer. In 1797, the family moved to nearby Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. The home in Mercersburg was later turned into the James Buchanan Hotel.

Buchanan attended the village’s Old Stone Academy and then Dickinson College in Carlisle Pennsylvania, graduating with honors on September 19, 1809. Later that year, he moved to the capital of Pennsylvania. The most prominent lawyer in Lancaster, James Hopkins, accepted Buchanan as an apprentice, and in 1812 Buchanan was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar after an oral exam. Lancaster would remain Buchanan’s home town for the rest of his life.

His political career began in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1814–1816) as a member of the Federalist Party. By 1820, the Federalist Party had largely collapsed, and Buchanan ran for the United States House of Representatives as a “Republican-Federalist.

Buchanan began his presidency on March 4, 1857 and served through 1861. Buchanan is ranked as the worst president in U.S. history. His personal life has attracted historical interest as the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a life-long bachelor, and the last one born in 18th century. Buchanan caught a cold in May 1868, which quickly worsened due to his advanced age. He died on June 1, 1868, from respiratory failure at the age of 77 at his home at Wheatland, Pennsylvania.

A  pyramid structure stands on the site of the original cabin where Buchanan was born. This memorial in the nation’s capital complemented an earlier monument, constructed in 1907–08 and dedicated in 1911, on the site of Buchanan’s birthplace in Stony Batter, Pennsylvania.

James Buchanan Word Find


James Buchanan Memorial

James Buchanan Memorial

Nestled along Route 16 in the Tuscarora mountain range is large stone monument marking the birthplace of our 15th president, James Buchanan, born on the site in 1792. The monument is the centerpiece of the Buchanan Birthplace State Park and marks the location, known as Stony Batter, where the Buchanan family homestead once stood.

The monument, shaped like a pyramid, was built of native stone from the architectural design of Baltimore firm Wyatt and Nolting. It is 38 -ft. square and 31-ft. high. It contains 50 tons of hammered American gray granite and 600 tons of native rubble and mortar make up the pyramid.  Construction of the pyramid began in October 1907 and concluded in mid-November 1907. The Pennsylvania General Assembly of 1911 accepted the monument from the trust of Harriet Lane Johnston and Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park was formally established.

It is one-of-a kind!

Old postcard view shows the James Buchanan Memorial at the James Buchanan Birthplacde State Park.

Buchanan Memorial Coloring Page

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Releases 2019 Visitors Guide

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Releases 2019 Visitors Guide

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau completed the 2019 Visitors Guide, the largest and most inclusive publication to help visitors explore Franklin County! This full-color 68-page publication highlights the area and is a handy way for visitors to find what to do, where to go, where to dine and where to stay in Franklin County.

The cover of this year’s guide, taken by Toe Thane, is a  panoramic view of the 11/30 Visitors Center and the Chambersburg’s Memorial Square. With over 100 beautiful full-color photographs, the 2018 Visitors Guide is distributed throughout the United States and Canada to invite visitors to do, dine and stay in Franklin County PA. More than 75,000 are distributed along rest-stops of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, AAA centers, Pennsylvania Welcome Centers and Franklin County businesses, shops, and restaurants.

This flagship publication invites visitors to explore the historic and growing county as well as the new home of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau–11/30 Visitors Center, located at 15 North Main Street. The 11/30 Visitors Center was formerly a bank, operating from 1865 until 2015. Now, as a visitors center, it houses changing exhibits of Franklin County’s art, recreation, beauty, and fresh food. The original footprint of the bank and subsequent additions, make it architecturally interesting, as does the two vaults and a beautiful view overlooking the town square.

The guide includes sections about history, recreation, arts & entertainment, dining, shopping, festivals, family fun and fresh food & markets. This free guide also contains an extensive and comprehensive directory of local businesses and area services to help new and returning visitor as well as families or individuals moving to Franklin County.

For a copy of the 2019 Visitors Guide, contact the Franklin County Visitors Bureau at 866.646.8060 or stop by the 11/30 Visitors Center.