The Conococheague Institute is situated within the Rock Hill Farm in Southern, Franklin County near the village of Welsh Run located at 12995 Bain Rd, Mercersburg PA. It is a historically preserved farmstead established in the early 18th century that sits on 30 acres. This historic destination offers two historic house museums, tours, a research and genealogy library, historic log cabins, walking trails with access to a pioneer cemetery, waterways, historic gardens, living history events, and educational programs.

History comes to life at the Conococheague Institute as they harbor a mission to “foster awareness, understanding and stewardship of cultural and natural history of the Appalachian frontier of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.” Individuals can explore the grounds daily from dawn to dusk. Walking tours, house tours and school programs are available by appointment along with complimentary children’s packs. The grounds offer 30 acres of beautiful scenery, trails and historic structures with unique stories to tell; there’s something for everyone! CI invites everyone to explore, pack a picnic and enjoy the tranquility or participate in distance learning activities. Throughout the year, CI also hosts special events that include living history demonstrations, colonial style games, tours and more.

For the gardeners, nature lovers and botanist, explore the traditional and functional four-square garden which is used to feed volunteers during historic programs and hosts herbs ranging from both kitchen to medicinal. Other gardens to explore include several pollinator gardens that host butterflies and bees. In the lower wetland you’ll find a healthy birding area with a birding platform. Here people enjoy great views of birds in flight and the songs of frogs.

Amidst the pandemic, Conococheague Institute remains open with plenty of open-air grounds for safely exploring and distancing as well as appointment-based tours. On Sundays, CI posts a virtual program that spotlights aspects of their mission found on their Facebook and Youtube channel, Colonial Living at the Conococheague Institute. CI excitedly welcomes school age students to participate in their programs and tours by appointment and invites new and old members to visit and rediscover their love for the institute, colonial and pioneer history along with all the wonder that can be found!

Learn more about the Conococheague Institute online here or visit them on Facebook at or contact Matt Wedd at // 717-329-2800


Contributed by Lauren Formosa