Blog: Experience John Brown and More

Abolitionist John Brown planned his raid on the Federal Arsonal at Harpers Ferry while staying at the Ritner Boarding House in Chambersburg.

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Preserving Burial Grounds

April 17 a workshop on caring for historic cemeteries and burial grounds will be held on the campus of Shippensburg University from 2:30-5:30 pm in the Ceddia Union Building. The workshop will provide practical information to assist cemetery caretakers to protect the resources in their care. The cost for the workshop is $20 that also includes dinner at the Faculty Dining Room in Reisner Dining Hall.

The workshop’s program will include information about developing a conservation plan, building organizational capacity, and finding the financial support to care for your sacred site. This is an opportunity for sharing ideas and for networking with other caretakers from across central Pennsylvania. This workshop is open to all cemetery caretakers and all interested community members who wish to improve their ability to care for historic burial grounds. The workshop is limited to twenty-five participants.

Following the workshop, at 7 p.m. in Shippensburg’s Old Main Chapel, Dr. Steven Burg will deliver the South Mountain Partnership’s Speaker Series spring talk entitled, “Hallowed Grounds, Endangered History: Preserving the Historic African American Burial Grounds of the South Mountain Region.” The talk will be followed by a moderated roundtable featuring Lenwood Sloan, Barbara Barksdale, and Larry Knudson who will discuss the Hallowed Grounds project and their ongoing efforts to preserve African American cemeteries.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds Project, the South Mountain Partnership, and the Shippensburg University History/Philosophy Department’s Applied History program. Registration and additional information on the workshop can be found online at The Hallowed Grounds, Endangered History talk in Old Main Chapel is free and open to the public.

Spring into History

On April 26 from 9 am – 4 pm you can see more than 20 historical sites for FREE. See for details.

Royal Christian

On April 24 Jeff Rosenberry will speak on “Royal Christian–A Case Study for African-American Participation in WWI at Grove Library.” This presentation will be at the Grove Library at 2 pm.


Some years ago, a sign stood on S. Second St. in Chambersburg,  just south of Garfield which stated:  20 feet west of this marker was a half-mile race rack on which Speedy Slim ran a record of 1 minute, 21 seconds.  Evidently Fairground Ave. was named for such a reason – that’s where the fairgrounds were in the 1870′s and horse racing was part of it .  The fair was held there through the 1880′s.

Henry Hershberger

Major Henry Hershberger, (1810-1884) from Chambersburg, became a riding master by appointment at West Point in the 1840′s and undoubtedly taught most of the generals of the Civil War.  He married  Sophia  Greenawalt, and lived the latter part of his life in Chambersburg.  He is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Chambersburg, but without a marker.