Did you know?
What three towns originally vied to be the Franklin County seat in 1784?
THE ANSWER: Greencastle, Shippensburg, Chambersburg
Franklin County has beautiful downtowns waiting for you to explore. House tours, openhouses, carriage rides, santa, cookies & hot chocolate, carolers, lovely lights, and memories that will bring you back again and again.
Chambersburg PA was raided and invaded three times during the Civil War. The ultimate sacrifice came with the third and final invasion--The Burning of Chambersburg. Experience this history with the Chambersburg Civil War Walking Tour.
The Battle of Monterey Pass involved 10,000 Union and Confederate soldiers and was the second largest battle in Pennsylvania. The battle was fought as part of the retreat from Gettysburg. This 22-mile tour takes 60-90 minutes. The self-guided tour can be downloaded below. Also, see the Find Out More About The Battle of Monterey Pass in this section.
During the morning hours of July 4, 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered the withdrawal of his Confederate Army from Gettysburg. General Grumble Jones volunteered for the task of escorting General Richard Ewell's wagon train as it traveled through the South Mountain Pass through Blue Ridge Summit, PA, to Williamsport, MD.
Franklin County land, purchased from the family of William Penn, was America' frontier. Experience settlement and for history, Native American history, and the lifestyles of Welsh, German, and Scots-Irish settlers.
2009 Marked the 150th Anniversary of John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry -- the event that elevated the nation's awareness of the growing chasm between American ideologies.
Mercersburg is the birthplace of fifteenth president James Buchanan. It was the American frontier. It was a hotbed of freedom fighters. Find out more by exploring the Historic Mercersburg Tour.
Mercersburg is just over the Mason Dixon Line and has a key connection to the Underground Railroad, the United State Colored Troops (USCT) of the Civil War, and many stories of African American history.
The American Civil War tore families apart and torched cities. It was filled with fire and blood, tears and tumult. But, it brought about the beginning of a new era of history in our young nation, one where freedom could truly reign and all men were truly recognized as created equal. The Road to Gettysburg tells the story of the costs and sacrifices of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the common good.
After a hard-fought Confederate victory at Chancellorsville, the Confederate Army found itself battered, although not broken but severely bent. With 13,000 casualties, Confederate General Robert E. Lee was faced with a decision: retire toward Richmond, stay put, and encourage Union attack or invade Pennsylvania and head into the heart of the Union. The Road to Harrisburg begins to tell the tale of the choice he made.
Conococheague Institute produced this excellent tour of French and Indian War history and sites and is located at Rock Hill Farm on Bain Road in Mercersburg. Rock Hill Farm was settled in 1736 and is an excellent place to begin exploring French and Indian War history. Start exploring with the tour below.
Many of the trails and routes through the South Mountain link into the footpaths of the Native Americans and have long been thoroughfares. This natural route beckoned to escaping enslaved as they traveled along the secret passage known as the Underground Railroad. By following the landscape of South Mountain, escaping enslaved crossed the Mason Dixon Line and into Pennsylvania, remaining in local communities or moving further north and even into Canada. The South Mountain is an interstate greenway, a sort of natural thoroughfare. It is a large, linear corridor six to seven miles wide, linking Pennsylvania with southern natural areas. It extends about 40 miles in a northeast to southwest direction connecting Franklin, Cumberland, Adams, and York Counties.
Thaddeus Stevens Ironworks at Caledonia State Park to the Ironmaster's Mansion at Pine Grove Furnace - The natural corridor of South Mountain beckoned to escaping enslaved, who crossed the Mason Dixon Line and followed the South Mountain north. The Appalachian Trail provided pathways through areas of canopied trees and along streams for freedom seekers to follow. This is a 20-mile hike that takes about 11 hours. It can be done as a full-day hike or a two-day with an overnight stay on the Appalachain Trail.
Franklin County is home to a rich Agricultural Heritage. The County is blessed by a distinctive collection of brick-end barns reflecting its unique cultural traditions. These and other vestiges of years gone by continue to reflect the skill and cultural heritage native to the area. The County is one of Pennsylvania’s most productive farm areas and the many working farms and orchards continue to flourish, producing a seasonal bounty. This tour begins in Chambersburg, PA. Please see the sample itinerary below.
Relax and enjoy the beauty of pure elegance. Step back in time with the beauty of these historic properties and enjoy beautiful gardens as well. For a little pre-exploration, see the sample itinerary below. The visitors bureau can customize a tour to your group timeframe and help you make a special experience.
Enjoy an afternoon in downtown Chambersburg. Tour a converted movie house with a friendly ghost. Sample the handiwork of a chocolatier and vintner and top off your visit with summer theatre at Totem Pole Playhouse. Please see the sample itinerary below. Let the visitors bureau help your group Relax in Style.
South central Pennsylvania is known for several plain sect religions, including Mennonites, Brethren, and Amish. Families of these faiths spread beyond the traditionally recognized boundaries of Lancaster County into the Cumberland and Great Valley areas. The pristine farmlands of these families dot the region. Explore this simple lifestyle in the areas of Franklin County.
Franklin County offers great history, scenic beauty, and hometown charm. Experience them all as you take a trip down memory lane. See a suggested itinerary below. The visitors bureau can tailor tours to your group needs.
Noted Underground Railroad historian Charles Blockson identified Franklin County as a "hazardous area of 100 miles which contained the most secretive, tangled lines of the Underground Railroad." Historian Ted Alexander can guide this tour. View the sample itinerary below. Franklin County offers many Underground Railroad sites and the visitors bureau can help your group plan a one-day or two-day unique experience to explore the stories of the Underground Railroad.