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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In His Own Words Author Speaking on James McCullough

James W. Houpt, author of In His Own Words, the historical narrative based on the 18th century diary of James McCullough which chronicles colonial American history prior to the Revolutionary War, has scheduled several talks at historical societies in the Pennsylvania counties documented in the McCullough diary. Mr. McCullough (1722-1781) sailed to the Americas from Ireland with his wife in 1747. They first settled in Newcastle, then moved to what is now Gettysburg, before establishing a farm in Franklin County about 1760. Along with common events in the life of a farmer and small store operator, the diary details many of battles and “massacres” visited on civilians during the French and Indian War.


Two of McCullough’s sons were captured by the Indians and carried away.  One son was never heard from. The other was located near Pittsburgh but chose to continue living with his Indian captors. At about the age of 20, he returned to his birth family and was reunited with them.  He later wrote his own story, Life with the Aborigines, which is included as the concluding chapter of James Houpt’s book. The story, which Mr. Houpt tells as a stirring narrative, covers about thirty years of McCullough family life, including children going to school, trials of the trips to Maryland for safety during the Indian raids, the building of Fort Frederick, and historical records of the events of the French and Indian War. The 166-page book comes in both soft and hard cover.


Jim Houpt was born in Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania in 1935 just miles from the McCullough farm. His family moved numerous times to West Virginia, and to Washington County, Maryland, where he started school. He graduated from Greencastle High School 1953, left for Zion Bible College in 1954 and graduated from this college. He pastored four churches over a period of thirty years and also raised the funds and built a UHF Television Station. He did live television for some years. He retired to Florida in 1980 and has spent his retirement time indexing books, mostly for Franklin County, Pennsylvania.  He has indexed or compiled over forty books. The latest is the new five volumes of Kittochtinny Historical Society, Volumes 21-25.


On Thursday, September 25, Mr. Houpt will speak at Grove Family Library at 2 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Franklin County Historical Society.


Bus Tour to York

WATCH IT BEING MADE:  On Wednesday, October 1, we will have a tour of the Harley-Davidson Plant, Family Heirloom Weavers Mill Tour, Sunrise Soap Company Hand Made Soaps. Cost includes chartered bus, lunch at Paddock on Market, all admissions and gratuities. $85 (Society members $80). Contact Joyce at 717-375-2345 or

Extra Bus Tour Now Available

Due to popular demand, a second bus tour to Mt. Vernon has been added to the schedule on Friday, September 12. Includes conducted tour of the gardens and the house plus a short boat ride on the Potomac. Cost is $115 for Society members. Contact Joyce today at 717-375-2345 or to make your reservation.


Historic Path Valley Tour

Path Valley Bus Tour – Saturday, September 20: Historic Sites / Homes in Path Valley. 8/19/14 – BUS IS FILLED.


Old Market Day at the Old Jail

Caroline Houser-Gen McCausland (2)

General McCausland and Caroline Houser visiting at the Old Jail on July 19.