Blog Archives

A joint production with the Lancaster Marionette Theatre, this approximately one-hour show will be staged in the mansion and will be a festive, whimsical and touching celebration of the life and times of General Edward Hand and his family featuring the talents of “Man of the Theatre” Robert Brock. The Unrestored Room on the second floor of Rock Ford will be transformed into a theatre, complete with lighting and seating, and additional rooms will be open and lit theatrically. See and experience Rock Ford like you’ve never seen it before!

This event is geared towards teens and adults and not suitable for younger children.

All proceeds benefit educational programming at Rock Ford and at the Lancaster Marionette Theatre.

For complete details and to make reservations, please click here.

 

An annual favorite! Journey back to a time when Christmas Day was only the beginning of the season! Learn about 18th-century Yuletide traditions and customs as beautiful music fills the air. Bring your friends, family, and guests to celebrate the season.

Yuletide Tours are conducted like an “Open House.” Visitors may arrive anytime between 10 am and 2:30 pm (due to closing at 3 pm) and tour the mansion at their own pace.

$10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and children 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

No reservations required. Admission is payable at the door.

An annual favorite! Rock Ford invites visitors to step back to a time when Christmas Day was only the beginning of the season! Learn about 18th-century Yuletide traditions and customs as beautiful music fills the air. Bring your friends, family, and guests to celebrate the season.

Yuletide Tours are conducted like an “Open House.” Visitors may arrive anytime between 4 pm to 7:30 pm (due to closing at 8 pm) and tour the mansion at their own pace.

$10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and children 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

No reservations required. Admission is payable at the door.

An annual favorite! Rock Ford invites visitors to step back to a time when Christmas Day was only the beginning of the season! Learn about 18th-century Yuletide traditions and customs as beautiful music fills the air. Bring your friends, family, and guests to celebrate the season.

Yuletide Tours are conducted like an “Open House.” Visitors may arrive anytime between 4 pm to 7:30 pm (due to closing at 8 pm) and tour the mansion at their own pace.

$10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and children 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

No reservations required. Admission is payable at the door.

After another successful summer of Stories on the Porch, Rock Ford Plantation is delighted to announce our new “Stories in the Barn.” The program will be held in the historic bank barn on the grounds of Rock Ford Plantation. Following the story, children will participate in a fun activity. Stories will relate to Early America.

Our first “Story in the Barn,” geared towards preschool through elementary school age children, will be held Sunday, November 4, starting at 3:30 pm. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. This is a pay-what-you-will event.

Additional Stories in the Barn are planned for December 2, 2018, January 12, 2019, March 16, 2019, November 3, 2019 and December 7, 2019.

Reservations are not required for this event.

In the event of inclement weather, please visit our website or call our office at 717-392-7223.

Rock Ford welcomes the return of “Tales from the Caretakers: The Haunted History of Rock Ford Plantation.” This play was first presented in 2013 and was favorably received by regional audiences. After five years, the “Caretakers” are returning to their former home at Rock Ford!

This one-act play is being presented at Rock Ford by professional actors Cynthia Charles and Evan Cooper of The Theatre of the Seventh Sister. Evan and Cynthia will be playing eccentric husband and wife caretakers in the Rock Ford mansion in the years before the house was restored and became a museum. These characters are loosely based upon an actual couple who lived in Rock Ford during the 1930’s into the 1940’s and will relate stories spanning over two centuries. They will lead visitors on a candlelit tour of the mansion during which they will share some of the many legends, supernatural stories and first-hand accounts that have enshrouded Rock Ford and its inhabitants since the early nineteenth century. This unique event will blend theatre, history and ghost stories into an enchanting witch’s brew of spooky and atmospheric Halloween fun.

To our guests, please note that you will be standing for the duration of the play, following the characters from room to room, and walking up and down stairs.

FOR ALL PERFORMANCE DATES AND RESERVATIONS, please click here.

 

George Washington was many things to many people; a celebrated war hero… the first president of our nation… a surrogate father… In his young reader’s book, “My Dear General – The Extraordinary Relationship between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette,” author Jeffrey E. Finegan brings this last aspect to life through richly detailed descriptions and research.

Told from the perspective of the Marquis de Lafayette, “My Dear General” reveals the meteoric father-son relationship forged between Washington and the young French aristocrat who traveled from France to fight at his side during the American Revolution.  Orphaned at a young age, Lafayette finds fatherly qualities in stately Virginian, while the reverse is true for a childless George Washington.  The camps of the Continental Army and battlefields of the Revolutionary War are witness to the development of one of the most incredible relationships in history.

“My Dear General” joins Finegan’s two previous works to complete a three-part series entitled “I Knew George Washington.”  Each of the books looks at the life of Washington through the perspective of historic figures who were closely associated with him, thereby presenting a unique way to understand the father of our nation.

Biography:

Jeffrey E. Finegan Sr. is a 1982 graduate of Seton Hall University with a Bachelors degree in broadcast communication. A native of New Jersey, his interest in history spans from the Norman Conquest of England to World War Two with a concentration in George Washington, the American Civil War and historic architecture. He resides in the historic village of Finesville, New Jersey, with his wife, Kimberly Ollio Finegan and two sons, Jeffrey E. Jr. and Peter J. Finegan. The creator of the “I knew George Washington” Series, he is a member of the Washington Association of New Jersey, the American Friends of Lafayette, and is an honorary member of the Association of the United States Army.

Finegan has conducted lectures and book signings at Colonial Williamsburg, National Historic Parks at Valley Forge, Morristown Saratoga, and Yorktown, as well as the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and  Washington Crossing, just to name a few.

This lecture will take place in the Rock Ford Barn. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited.

Admission: $5 for non-members and free for members of the Rock Ford Foundation (upon showing valid membership ID card)

The premiere performance of the General Hand Puppet Theatre at the 2018 May Fair at Rock Ford Plantation was such a huge hit that it has now been scheduled for two additional performances on Sunday, June 24 at 11 am and 1 pm in the Rock Ford barn. This all-ages event is being presented in collaboration with the Lancaster Marionette Theatre.

“The Hand Puppeteers worked so hard and are so dedicated that I thought they needed to keep the momentum going – Rock Ford has a barn so let’s put on a show,” said Robert Brock, the Artistic Director of the Lancaster Marionette Theatre. The General Hand Puppet Theatre performance features adventure, live music, surprises, romance, heroes and a revolution ending with America’s independence. The Hand Puppet cast includes Edward and Kitty Hand, George and Martha Washington and several of Edward Hand’s farm animals (including his favorite sheep Garamelli) … and mad King George III.

In addition to directing the production, Brock will include some of his 18th century marionette characters from “Treasure Island” as well as his marionettes depicting John Durang. Durang was the first American-born actor, dancer and puppeteer, who was born in Lancaster City in 1768.

Not publicly seen in years, one of Rock Ford’s hidden treasures – a 43-year-old, highly detailed dollhouse of the Rock Ford mansion – will be featured in the production. Little tours of the little mansion will be given periodically. An elaborate one-fourth inch scale replica of the mansion filled with period-style furniture, the dollhouse offers a Lilliputian experience not to be missed. Along with the little mansion will be a little gift shop, featuring Rock Ford’s most popular items (including shrub) for sale.

The volunteer puppet company, dressed in period attire, includes Pam Stoner, Meagen Lebo, Grace Kline, Ron Peters and Sarah Alberico.

Reservations are $5 per person and may be made by calling the Rock Ford office at 717-392-7223 or by clicking here. Seating is limited – do not miss this special experience. Refreshments will be offered for sale before and after each performance.

Proceeds from this event benefit educational programming at Rock Ford.

Dr. Timothy Trussell of Millersville University presents “The Archaeology of a Pioneer Settler’s Cabin: The 1714 Hans Graff Site.” The early pioneers of Lancaster County were extremely influential in setting the pattern for later development of broad swaths of the United States, through generations of out-migration in the 1700’s.  These flows of people carried the culture, lifeways, agricultural practices, and even architectural styles from Lancaster County to many other areas of the country.  For the first time, the original site of one of these early pioneers has been found and archaeologically excavated, giving us insights into that era which have been previously impossible.  This lecture will discuss the importance of the early settlers in Lancaster County to the later cultural and historical development of the United States, and will discuss the findings of two years of excavation at the Hans Graff site, the first original settlers cabin ever found or excavated in Lancaster County.

This lecture will take place in the Rock Ford Barn. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited.

Admission: $5 for non-members and free for members of the Rock Ford Foundation (upon showing valid membership ID card)

The Underground Railroad (UGRR) was the first interracial activist movement in the United States. It brought together people of diverse backgrounds and from a variety of regions, including Pennsylvania, in defiance of the institution of slavery. There are many myths which surround its operation. However, it becomes less mysterious upon understanding how it operated, the dangers faced by participants, and its impact upon both the South and the North. As this talk examines the effectiveness of the Underground Railroad, it also will offer insights into its significance as a catalyst for the Civil War.

Spencer R. Crew is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University.  Previous to that, he served as President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and Director of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.  He recently served as a guest curator for one of the permanent history exhibitions at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He has an AB from Brown University and a PH.D. from Rutgers University.  His most recent publication is Memories of the Enslaved: Voices from the Slave Narratives, co-authored with Lonnie Bunch and Clement Price.

Dr. Crew’s presentation will take place on Thursday, February 22 in Ryder Hall at LancasterHistory.org, 230 N. President Avenue in Lancaster. A speaker’s reception will begin at 4pm, followed by the main presentation at 4:30pm. The event is free and open to the public.