Franklin County Visitor Bureau Sets April 16th Spring into History Tour: Conococheague Settlement

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Join the Franklin County Visitors Bureau for an April 16 Spring Into History Tour explore the frontier and the people of the Conococheague Settlement.

The Conococheage Settlement Tour is part of Spring Into History in Franklin County PA on April 16.

The Conococheague Settlement Tour is one of four Spring Into History Tours and will highlight the Franklin County frontier, which was collectively known as the Conococheague Settlement.

Take a tour of early American history on April 16th. The Conococheague Settlement Tour is one of four Spring Into History Tours and will highlight the Franklin County frontier, which was collectively known as the Conococheague Settlement. Learn about these early residents of the Cumberland Valley, who settled the frontier of Franklin County. Glimpse their lifestyle, culture, customs, and challenges.

Begin the tour at the Conococheague Institute and Rock Hill Farm, just off PA 995. It is 30 pristine acres of farmland, wetlands, meadows, and trails. The site interprets the interactions between the Native Americans, Welsh, Scots-Irish, and Germans, who all lived on the frontier. These early American ancestors paved the way for life here today.

Travel about ten minutes to the center of Mercersburg to the Fendrick Library and visit the large history room and the James Buchanan room. Mercersburg is the boyhood home of 15th president James Buchanan, who served the country during the tumultuous times leading up to the Civil War. Fendrick Library houses a collection of Buchanan artifacts and memorabilia. It is located next to the home where Buchanan’s niece grew up. The Buchanan family store and home was across the street. The library itself was originally built in 1788 by Captain Robert Parker, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and friend of the Marquis de Lafayette, whom he fought with at the Battle of Brandywine. Captain Parker built the property when he settled the town, which became Mercersburg. The property is built with wood panes from France; artisans hand-carved the mantels, cupboards, and balusters as well as the scroll work.

Continue the historic experience with lunch at Flannery’s on the Square. The property is the former McKinstry House, built in 1810, as a residence and general store by William McKinstry. Then head to Buchanan State Park, which is an 18.5 acre park on the land where James Buchanan was born and his father operated a trading post. The park has a 31-ft. tall, 300 ton pyramid of rock and rubble, taken from the site where President James Buchanan was born. The memorial was gifted by Buchanan’s niece, who served as the First Lady during his presidency.

The final stop is Fort Loudoun, a British provincial fort built in 1756 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Regiment to provide defense for frontier settlers. In 1765, more than ten years before the military engagement of Lexington and Concord, James Smith and 300 men took up arms to end the trading with Indians, who were attacking settlers. In 1980-1982, archaeological digs revealed the original site of the fort. Today, the replica fort along with the original Patton House, named for original settler Matthew Patton, depicts 18th century lifestyle.

Experience a new awareness of American history and gain respect for the frontier settlers in the Spring Into History Conococheague Settlement Tour, set for April 16. Discover more at

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore Franklin County PA and enjoy the trails of history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro. Franklin County PA is located just north of the Mason Dixon Line and is an easy drive to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Discover more... plan a visit soon at or by contacting 866-646-8060.

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Janet Pollard

Lauren Cappuccio
Ben Franklin
since: 04/2013
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