Stories of the Mountain Spring into History Tour on April 13

Stories of the Mountain Spring into History Tour on April 13

This event is rescheduled and updated from April 13.

Your invited to explore South Mountain in Stories of the Mountain Spring into History Tour on August 24, 9 AM to 4:30 PM. South Mountain holds centuries of history and lore. The mountain forests fed the iron ore industry, sheltered escaping enslaved, saw the strife of Civil War and was reborn through Pennsylvania’s conservation movement. Life on the mountain is the story of small communities across America. Visit a general store museum, a site where John Brown taught Sunday school, learn how Pennsylvania led the conservation movement, and hear eerie stories of the silvery lady of Pond Bank.

The tour departs Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center at 9 AM and begins with a comparison of two Franklin County iron ore works—Caledonia Ironworks and Mont Alto Ironworks. Learn about the ore process, layout of the ironworks, and the people who worked at the furnace. Stop at Preserving Our Heritage Museum, housed in a one-room schoolhouse, and visit a relocated 1930 – 1950 general store. Travel across the South Mountain and see the landscape that gave fresh air and hope to thousands of tuberculosis patients. Visit the new home of the Mont Alto Historical Society. Step back to 1812 and visit the Royer farmhouse at Renfrew Park. Continue up the mountain to Monterey Pass Battlefield where 10,000 Union and Confederate troops fought along the mountain ridge in a blinding thunderstorm during the late hours of July 4 and early hours of July 5, 1863, part of the retreat from Gettysburg.

Single tickets are $30/ person or two tickets for $50. Bring a friend and save!  Sign up here.. Tour fee includes lunch at Founder’s Grille with a pristine view of South Mountain. Parking information provided here.

Communiuty Day at Fort Loudoun

Communiuty Day at Fort Loudoun

Fort Loudon Historical Society invites history lovers and anyone who wants to help build a fort to join Fort Loudoun Historical Society at Community Work Day on Saturday, March 30, from 9 AM to 4 PM. Volunteers and community members, close and distant, are invited to a spring clean-up of historic Fort Loudoun.

Fort Loudoun is the site of colonial rebellion ten years before the traditionally recognized beginning of the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord. In March 1765 and May 1765, James Smith and the Black Boys captured and burned contraband supplies—those items that could be used to attack the frontiersmen and their families. The traders sought help from the British at Fort Loudoun. Each incident brought confrontation between James Smith, his Black Boys, and the British soldiers of Fort Loudoun. The British captured the Black Boys; but when the men were released, the British did not return the captured colonist’s guns—nine in all and a major point of contention to the frontiersmen.

On November 16, 1765, tensions peaked, and James Smith and the Black Boys fired on Fort Loudoun again and again. The British had little ammunition on hand, so the men were ordered not to fire. During the siege, the British soldiers only fired one return shot. After two days of attack, a surrender of the frontiersmen’s weapons was arranged, and in return, James Smith and the Black Boys ceased the attack of Fort Loudoun. The British abandoned Fort Loudoun.

Community Work Day is a great way to learn and experience the historic site of Fort Loudoun. Work includes brush removal, elimination of invasive tree species, painting, raking, and beautifying the site grounds. Fort Loudoun is an all-volunteer historical society and depends on donations of labor to function.

A lunch will be provided for all volunteers. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact: If you are

Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center Host 8th Annual South Mountain Power of the Partnership

Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center Host 8th Annual South Mountain Power of the Partnership

The new Franklin County 11/30 Visitor Center was the site of the 8th Annual “Power of the Partnership breakfast, coordinated by the South Mountain Partnership in early February. Franklin County Commissioners David Keller, Robert Thomas, and Robert Ziobrowski welcomed over 130 attendees from Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York Counties, highlighting the historic, agricultural, and recreational value of the county they represent.

The South Mountain Partnership is one of seven landscape initiatives in Pennsylvania, which support investment and action around sustainability, conservation, community revitalization, and recreational projects. Cindy Dunn, Secretary of PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), spoke to the value of the state’s conservation landscape efforts and the success of the South Mountain Partnership (SMP), often a model of the effort.

Suzanne Dixon, CEO and President of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), shared ATC’s new initiative–the Wild East. The Wild East brings greater attention to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and the lands surrounding the 2,192-mile footpath. Both the Wild East and South Mountain landscapes are efforts to secure access to open, natural spaces and the historic, cultural, and aesthetic assets they bring.

The breakfast program focused on profiles of action along the South Mountain landscape, including Franklin County’s collective actions to oppose a 230KV, double line transmission project, proposed by Transource PA and slated to traverse more than 29 miles of the county. Speaking were Lori Rice of the Franklin County Stop Transource community group. Lori, a business owner and farm wife, discussed the impacts on the watershed, karst system, agricultural land, and the community culture of Franklin County. Mike Ross, president of Franklin County Area Development Corporation, addressed Franklin County’s balanced approach to development and the reasons FCADC did not support the project, noting the county approach to economic development and citing the zero-value of the project to PA.

The South Mountain Partnership awarded six 2018 Mini Grants, totaling $50,000. The grant program commenced in 2009 and has supported more than 60 projects, awarding $440,000 in funds and leveraging just under $900,000 in matching investment.

Mike Eschenmann, DCNR Internal Lead of South Mountain Partnership, awarded Karen Lutz, recently retired as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of ATC, with the ‘Spirit of South Mountain’ award. The award recognized Lutz’s long-standing efforts to advance the Partnership.

“Throughout our 13-year history, SMP has consistently relied on diverse partners to be the ‘Power’ that positively impacts the South Mountain landscape of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York Counties. The gathering is invaluable as the region seeks to better conserve and manage agricultural, natural, recreational, and historical assets,” said Katie Hess, director of South Mountain Partnership.