John Brown House


225 East King Street, Chambersburg, PA

The John Brown House (Ritner Boarding House) was where the famous abolitionist boarded during the summer of 1859 under the alias of Isaac Smith. During this time, weapons were secretly secured and plans furthered to seize the arsenal at Harpers Ferry in October 1859.

The Society was able to purchase the John Brown House from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 2002 through the generosity of Dr. W. R. McElroy and family. The John Brown House was rededicated and opened on May 2, 2009 as part of the 150th Anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. The John Brown House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

The John Brown has been restored with period furniture. One visitor remarked that if John Brown came to Chambersburg today he feel right at home at the Ritner Boarding House.

Chronology of John Brown House

May – October
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm

November – April
Thursday – Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm

We recommend calling (717-264-1667) to ensure a docent is available to guide you through the house. Please note that our last tour starts at 3 pm.

FCHS-K Members:  Free
Adults:  $4
Children over 6: $3
Family (2 adults and any children):  $10
Combo (John Brown House & Old Jail): $7

Group tours are by appointment (717-264-1667).