Blog Archives

Celebrate the arrival of Spring at Rock Ford’s annual May Fair Celebration with a variety of craftsmen and vendors, 18th century entertainments, and dancing around the Maypole! All outdoor activities are free and open to the public and also weather permitting.

Guided tours of the mansion will be on every half hour from 10 am until 3 pm. There is an admission charge to tour the mansion. No reservations required.

$8 Adults
$7 Seniors (65+)
$6 Children 6 to 12
Free for children under 5


On Thursday, May 18, will welcome Winifred Woll for The Nurses of Pearl Harbor. This colloquium tells the stories of the United States Army and Navy nurses stationed at both Pearl Harbor and Oahu on December 7, 1941. A Lancaster-native, Ms. Woll’s mother, Teresa Stauffer Foster, was among the nurses stationed at Tripler Army Hospital on the day of the attacks.

Winifred Woll, a resident of Reading, PA, is the daughter of Army nurse Teresa Stauffer Foster who was a survivor of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Woll attended several national meetings of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association with her mother and met othe rmilitary nurses who were also survivors of the attack. The stories of these women became the foundation for The Nurses of Pearl Harbor. Since the last Pearl Harbor White Cap nurses died in 2013, Winifred continues to honor these women by focusing on the many accomplishments they attained in both their military and civilian lives. Many stories are told about the military men, but seldom are stories told about the women of Pearl Harbor.

Ms. Woll is currently a teacher in the Career Program at Reading Area Community College. She is also a member of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors (SDPHS).

The colloquium, The Nurses of Pearl Harbor, will take place on Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Ryder Hall at, 230 North President Avenue, Lancaster. A speaker’s reception with refreshments will begin at 4pm, followed by the main event from 4:30-5:30pm. Pearl Harbor memorabilia will be on display for attendees to view. This event is free and open to the public.


Join us as we transport you back to 1857 and 1858. President James Buchanan and Secretary of State Lewis Cass discuss intelligence and strategy to capture the freebooter William Walker and his private army which has invaded Nicaragua. Experience and learn of the challenges faced by United States Senate which debated the invasion, as well as the Navy’s arrest of Walker. Did his arrest violate the Neutrality Laws? Experience the debate and learn of Walker’s fate in this May’s Living History at Wheatland!

The Living History at Wheatland program, The Arrest of An American Dictator, takes place on Saturday, May 6, 2017 with tours on the hour starting at 12pm and the last starting at 3pm. Standard tours of Wheatland are also offered at 10am and 11am ONLY. Click here or call 717-392-4633 to purchase your tickets. Advanced tickets strongly recommended as Living History tours often sell out and walk-in space is not guaranteed. Your tickets also include admission to the exhibition galleries.

On Thursday, April 20, The Edward Hand Medical Heritage Foundation, Lancaster General Health (LGH), and will come together to present The History of Orthopedic Medicine in Lancaster County. A distinguished roster of LGH physicians are slated to speak in this panel presentation, including Doctors Gerald Rothacker Jr., Christopher Cooke, Wayne Conrad, Timothy Tymon, David Hughes, Thomas Westphal, and Paul Carroll.

This program is the second collaboration between the Edward Hand Foundation, LGH, and to present our county’s medical history. The 2016 panel focused on the History of Cardiology.

This event will take place on Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Ryder Hall at, 230 N President Avenue, Lancaster. A speaker’s reception with refreshments will begin at 4pm, followed by the lecture from 4:30-6pm. This event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, April 13 will host Dr. Carl Strikwerda to observe the 100-year anniversary of the United States’ involvement in World War I with the colloquium 100 Years: US Entry into World War I. The entry of the United States into World War I in April 1917 changed both American and world history. For the first time, the US became deeply involved in international politics as a military and economic power. Join Dr. Carl Strikwerda as he explores why the US entered The Great War, the national and global impact of our involvement, and how we can use those experiences to inform our nation’s future military decisions.

Dr. Carl J. Strikwerda is the fourteenth president of Elizabethtown College, serving since 2011, and previously served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the College of William and Mary. He has served as a historical consultant to the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and to several colleges and universities on higher education administration. He has lectured to business groups, schools and religious organizations on World War I and the history of globalization.

The colloquium 100 Years: US Entry into World War I will take place on Thursday, April 13, 2017 in Ryder Hall at, 230 N President Avenue, Lancaster. A speaker’s reception with refreshments will begin at 4pm, followed by the lecture from 4:30-5:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Wreath Laying at Woodward Hill Cemetery at 10am. Buchanan Birthday Celebration at Wheatland at 12pm until 2pm. 

The 226th anniversary of President James Buchanan’s birth will be commemorated on April 22, 2017 and will feature the annual presentation of the White House wreath for the President’s grave site at Woodward Hill Cemetery starting at 10am followed by a Birthday Celebration at Wheatland starting at 12pm and lasting till 2pm. Both events are free and open to the public.

The day’s events begin at 10am at Woodward Hill Cemetery for the Presidential Wreath-Laying Ceremony. The Ceremony includes remarks delivered by Brigadier General David Wood and County Commissioner Joshua G. Parsons. The James Buchanan Elementary School 5th Grade Chorus will sing the National Anthem after which two 5th Grade students, in historic costume, will assist Brigadier General Wood with the presentation of the Presidential Wreath at Buchanan’s tomb.

Following the ceremony, the public is invited by the students and PTO of James Buchanan Elementary School to President James Buchanan’s Wheatland for a 226th Birthday Celebration. Free tours of the President’s beloved home, Wheatland, are available from 12pm until 2pm with a tour beginning every 15 minutes and the last free tour beginning at 1:45. These tours will be led by the Buchanan Elementary School students as they interpret the history of Wheatland, James Buchanan, his family and his life. Enjoy a slice of James Buchanan’s birthday cake with some punch provided through the generosity of the James Buchanan Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO.)

Horticulturist, lecturer, and John Bartram re-enactor Kirk Brown returns to to portray Frederick Law Olmsted in a dramatic presentation on the life of the father of landscape architecture. Responsible for designing over 6,000 landscapes in North America, Olmsted’s legacy includes the grounds of The White House, Central Park in New York City, and a conservation movement that is still challenging the world today.

Kirk R. Brown is the current Treasurer of the Garden Writers Association and has served that organization in many other volunteer capacities. He is a horticulturist, world-recognized botanist, key note speaker, business lecturer, and dramatist appearing across the United States and Canada. Brown is also a recipient of the Pennsylvania Nursery and Landscape Association “Green Achiever” Award for advancing horticulture in Pennsylvania among many additional accolades. Brown last visited in April 2016 to portray John Bartram, America’s first botanist and father of the nursery industry in the original thirteen colonies.

The colloquium Olmsted: Landscape Architect & Environmental Visionary will take place on Thursday, March 16, 2017 in Ryder Hall at, 230 N President Avenue, Lancaster. A social gathering will begin at 4pm, followed by the lecture from 4:30-5:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Gregory J. Scott will explore the three most prevalent architectural styles of the time: Germanic, Traditional English and Georgian including Lancaster City and the surrounding countryside.  
This event will be held in the Rock Ford Barn. No reservations required.  Seating is limited.

Admission: $5 for non-members.  Free for members of the Rock Ford Foundation.

Scott is a senior partner in the architectural firm of RLPS Architects located in Lancaster County, PA. and is a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelors of Architecture degree.  He holds professional affiliations with the American Institute of Architects, Leading Age and the National Hospice Organization.  In addition to practicing architecture, Gregg  writes a monthly architectural design column for Lancaster Newspapers entitled Design Intervention

This popular children’s event is geared toward ages 4 and up. Children will use their artistic talents, play games and have fun in a series of activity stations. A story about George Washington will help children to understand why we continue to celebrate his birthday. During the special visit from “George Washington,” children will sing “Happy Birthday!” and enjoy cake and ice cream. Pretzels and beverages will also be served.
This event will be held in the Rock Ford Barn.
Reservations required.  $10 per child and $5 per adult.  Parent(s) must accompany their children.
Call 717-392-7223 for reservations.
Snow date: Sunday, March 5.

Join us on a journey back to February 1857. During your tour you will “visit” both Wheatland and the White House in 1857.  At Wheatland you will bear witness to James Buchanan’s encounter with a mysterious disease he contracted in January while staying in Washington, DC.  Moving along to President Buchanan’s White House after his March 1857 inauguration, you will be party to the struggle faced by the President and his advisors as they discuss how to manage the nation’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Dred Scott case.

The Presidents Day Living History at Wheatland takes place on Monday, February 20, 2017 with tours on the hour at 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. We strongly advise making reservations in advance for your tour since tours do fill up and walk-in space is not guaranteed. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour so you may use the facilities and check in.

Visit or call 717-392-4633 to purchase your tickets. Your purchase of a ticket includes admission to the exhibition galleries.