Rock Ford Plantation

Rock Ford Plantation Rock Ford Plantation, the home of Revolutionary War General Edward Hand, stands near the Conestoga River, approximately 1 mile south of Lancaster City. Open for guided tours April - October.
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Rock Ford Plantation is the preserved 18th Century home of Edward Hand who served as Adjutant General to George Washington during the American Revolution. Today, Rock Ford is comprised of 33 acres at the southeastern edge of Lancaster City surrounded by Lancaster County Central Park. The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and is recorded in the Historic American Building Survey. Rock Ford is widely considered to be one of the most important examples of Georgian domestic architecture surviving in Pennsylvania and the most intact building predating 1800 in Lancaster County. The mansion’s elegant rooms are furnished with an outstanding collection of period furnishings and decorative arts. Rock Ford offers visitors an authentic example of refined country living as it existed during the early years of the Republic.

This delightful drawing is from an early 1960's coloring book that was created for Rock Ford by noted Lancaster County a...
04/26/2020

This delightful drawing is from an early 1960's coloring book that was created for Rock Ford by noted Lancaster County artist Florence Starr Taylor. However, the drawing has been slightly tweaked to include some objects that the Hand family would not have had in their parlor. Can you find those objects? After you are done finding the objects, color the drawing, scan your finished page, and share it with us!

Today, we are offering a Word Search on the "Life and Times of Edward Hand." Print out a copy for your child to do, or b...
04/24/2020

Today, we are offering a Word Search on the "Life and Times of Edward Hand." Print out a copy for your child to do, or better yet, print out several and have a competition to see who can find all of the words first!

Today, we share this transcription of Kitty Hand's "Receipt to Cure Gammons" along with a faux gammon on display in the ...
04/23/2020

Today, we share this transcription of Kitty Hand's "Receipt to Cure Gammons" along with a faux gammon on display in the Rock Ford kitchen. The faux gammon was created by Sandy Levins of Historic Faux Foods. Her faux foods have been featured at Winterthur, Mount Vernon, Monticello and other historic sites.

Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo
04/23/2020

Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo

A "receipt" is an old form that means the same as "recipe." Recipe has been used alongside receipt since the eighteenth ...
04/22/2020

A "receipt" is an old form that means the same as "recipe." Recipe has been used alongside receipt since the eighteenth century in the sense of cookery instructions, gradually replacing it over time.

The image below is "A Receipt to Cure Gammons" that was copied from Kitty Ewing's (later Kitty Hand's) receipt book. Does this receipt look the same as our recipes that we use today? What are "gammons"? Try your hand at transcribing this 18th century receipt! Tomorrow, we will post a transcription along with photos of gammons in the Rock Ford kitchen.

Rock Ford's Curator Sarah Alberico wanted to share this information about a new item in the mansion.When Rock Ford is ab...
04/20/2020

Rock Ford's Curator Sarah Alberico wanted to share this information about a new item in the mansion.

When Rock Ford is able to re-open to the public for house tours, visitors will find a new treasure on display: A Pennsylvania spice chest, circa 1760. This lovely figured maple piece was generously donated to Rock Ford by Rolf Hickman. Although it is referred to as a “spice chest,” the 11 fitted interior drawers could have held anything from expensive spices to knick-knacks to prized items. Unfortunately, Rock Ford’s spice box does not have any hidden compartments or secret panels, which would have enhanced its novelty even more! The placement of the drawers indicates that this spice box was probably made in Chester County, compared to similar spice boxes from the same time period.

While there is no evidence that spice boxes were kept in the kitchen at Rock Ford, it is our hope that ongoing research will determine the most accurate spot for its placement in the mansion. On your next visit to Rock Ford, be on the look-out for which room we have chosen to place the spice box!

The Rock Ford grounds continue to be well-manicured due to the hard work of our groundskeeper, George Rhoades. Even thou...
04/14/2020

The Rock Ford grounds continue to be well-manicured due to the hard work of our groundskeeper, George Rhoades. Even though the office staff is working from home and the museum is closed to visitors, George continues to work several days per week to ensure that the grounds remain in excellent condition and the buildings are properly secured. His diligence is especially appreciated in light of the recent severe storms that impacted our area. We appreciate his dedication in keeping Rock Ford beautiful.

04/12/2020
Did you know that the Tenant House that stands on the Rock Ford property is also used as our Bridal Cottage for wedding ...
04/09/2020

Did you know that the Tenant House that stands on the Rock Ford property is also used as our Bridal Cottage for wedding rentals? The inside of the small building provides a charming space for brides to prepare for their ceremony.
#barnwedding
#weddingvenue
#rockfordplantation
#bridalcottage
#lancasterpa

A large-scale recreation of the upper portion of a Lancaster County tall case clock, designed and created by local artis...
04/07/2020

A large-scale recreation of the upper portion of a Lancaster County tall case clock, designed and created by local artisans Stu Van Ormer, Catesby Gilbert and Alan Swanson, will serve as the "Donor Recognition Piece" for the John J. Snyder, Jr. Gallery of Early Lancaster County Decorative Arts. These photos, taken in early March, show the clock being crafted in the studio of Stu Van Ormer. This working clock, to be adorned on its dial with the names of major supporters of the capital campaign, was provided by the generous donation of a campaign supporter.

For information on supporting the capital campaign, please contact Sam Slaymaker at [email protected].

Our family-friendly event "It's Tea Time!" scheduled for Sunday, May 3 has been postponed. The event will be rescheduled...
04/01/2020

Our family-friendly event "It's Tea Time!" scheduled for Sunday, May 3 has been postponed. The event will be rescheduled for the fall. For guests who have purchased tickets to this sold-out event, a member of our office staff will be in contact with you after a new date has been selected. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

03/30/2020

A Message from the Executive Director of Rock Ford

Because of our capital campaign and the construction of the John J. Snyder, Jr. Gallery of Early Lancaster County Decorative Arts, 2019 was certainly one of the most pivotal years in the history of the Rock Ford Foundation. As our capital campaign was drawing towards a successful conclusion and we looked forward to the scheduled opening of the Snyder Gallery on June 20, Rock Ford was poised to begin a new chapter in its history. However, in the past few weeks, Rock Ford, like all of us, has been blindsided by the COVID-19 pandemic as our nation enters a time of uncertainty. To date, we have taken the following steps to help us weather the crisis:

1. We have closed to the public until May 1 or until further notice, depending upon state guidelines.

2. All special events have been cancelled through May.

3. Wedding Receptions and Special Events scheduled through May have been postponed, and renters have been offered alternative dates at no extra charge.

4. We have engaged in belt tightening (although our belts were frankly pretty snug to begin with) in the form of substantial cuts to payroll to better maintain our cash reserves and liquidity.

5. We remain in close contact with our bankers to monitor our financial situation and to be ready to take advantage of Federal Emergency Loan Assistance when and if this should become available.

6. We have moved our office operations to our homes so that we may continue to work via email and telephone conference calls.

7. Our Curator and our Collections Committee continue to work by phone and online with our Guest Curator and Exhibit Designer in preparation for the opening of the inaugural exhibit of the Snyder Gallery. Conservation work on exhibits will continue offsite when possible. Although the originally planned opening date of June 20 is now looking a bit iffy, we are still hoping for a summer opening.

Since General Edward Hand's desperate struggle against the world's greatest army during the darkest days of the War for American Independence, to Rock Ford's slated destruction to make room for an incinerator in 1957, to confronting various financial crises and hardships since opening to the public in 1960, the story of Rock Ford has largely been one of overcoming adversity. With the continuing loyalty, encouragement and support of its members and friends, we remain confident that Rock Ford, and our nation, will emerge from this most recent crisis and be better and stronger for having gone through it.

With thanks to all,
Samuel C. Slaymaker, Executive Director

Although the Rock Ford mansion is currently not open for tours, you can still enjoy a stroll around our grounds. Enjoy t...
03/23/2020

Although the Rock Ford mansion is currently not open for tours, you can still enjoy a stroll around our grounds. Enjoy the fresh air and beauty of nature ... and share your photos!

#rockfordplantation
#historichousemuseum
#staysafe
#socialdistance

Rock Ford's tentative opening day for its 2020 Tour Season is Friday, May 1. The mansion is open for guided tours from 1...
03/19/2020

Rock Ford's tentative opening day for its 2020 Tour Season is Friday, May 1. The mansion is open for guided tours from 10 am to 3 pm with all tours beginning on the hour and the last tour beginning at 3 pm.

The mansion is open for guided tours through the season on Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm.

With an historic building such as Rock Ford, maintenance is never finished.#rockfordplantation #historichousemuseum #his...
03/18/2020

With an historic building such as Rock Ford, maintenance is never finished.

#rockfordplantation
#historichousemuseum
#historichouse
#woodworking
#historicarchitecture

In light of the National Coronavirus Emergency, and in compliance with State Guidelines, Rock Ford regrets to announce t...
03/17/2020

In light of the National Coronavirus Emergency, and in compliance with State Guidelines, Rock Ford regrets to announce that it will be postponing the start of its regular tour season from April 1, 2020 until Friday, May 1, 2020.

Likewise, all group tours, school tours and special events, including our Volunteer Guide Recruitment Event previously scheduled for March 22, are being postponed until a later date.

Like all of you, we will continue to monitor developments and to adjust our plans accordingly. Updates will be posted on our website and through social media. If you wish to contact the office, emails will be monitored remotely and messages left on our phone will be answered in a timely fashion.

Thank you for bearing with us during this trying time.

At Rock Ford, the health and safety of our visitors is important to us. Like all of you, we continue to monitor the stat...
03/16/2020

At Rock Ford, the health and safety of our visitors is important to us. Like all of you, we continue to monitor the status of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Although Rock Ford's regular tour season does not begin until April 1, we will adhere to all guidelines issued by local, state and national authorities both before and in the weeks following the start of our regular tour season.

With regard to the "Volunteer Guide Recruitment Event" scheduled to take place in the Mansion on March 22, this event is currently planned to go forward as scheduled. Restroom facilities will be available to all attendees for hand washing. We ask that persons not feeling well refrain from attending this event.

Any updates to museum operations or programs will be posted on our website and page.
We thank you for bearing with us during this difficult period as we all do our best to "Keep Calm and Carry On."

Snowdrops are blossoming in the flower beds inside the white picket fence  around the Rock Ford mansion. A lovely early ...
03/05/2020

Snowdrops are blossoming in the flower beds inside the white picket fence around the Rock Ford mansion. A lovely early sign of Spring coming to Lancaster County!

#rockfordplantation
#historichousemuseum
#onlyinlancasterpa
#discoverlancaster

Tickets are still available for our next family friendly event, Irish Story Time in the Rock Ford Barn, on Sunday, March...
03/02/2020

Tickets are still available for our next family friendly event, Irish Story Time in the Rock Ford Barn, on Sunday, March 15 at 2 pm.

www.rockford.yapsody.com

Please join us in welcoming Wireback & Co. Candles to the Rock Ford Museum Shop! These small batch soy candles are handm...
02/24/2020

Please join us in welcoming Wireback & Co. Candles to the Rock Ford Museum Shop! These small batch soy candles are handmade in Lancaster, PA. We are carrying only a small selection of their incredible scents.

#shopsmall
#rockford
#rockfordplantation
#musuemshop
#soycandles
@wirebackcandles_
@wireback

Look for many new items in the Rock Ford Museum Shop when we open for our 2020 tour season on April 1, 2020!#rockfordpla...
02/20/2020

Look for many new items in the Rock Ford Museum Shop when we open for our 2020 tour season on April 1, 2020!

#rockfordplantation
#historichousemuseum
#onlyinlancasterpa
#museumshop
#quillpens
#americanadesigns

Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo
02/20/2020

Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo

02/18/2020

Have you made your reservations yet for our family-friendly Irish Story Time in the Rock Ford Barn? Our February event sold out well in advance of the date. Do not be disappointed and reserve soon!

02/10/2020
"Happy Birthday, George Washington!"

The children gathered at the 2020 George Washington's Birthday Party at Rock Ford enjoy singing "Happy Birthday!" as the cake is presented.

Thank you to all of the families who attended today's sold out "George Washington's Birthday Party" in the Rock Ford Bar...
02/10/2020

Thank you to all of the families who attended today's sold out "George Washington's Birthday Party" in the Rock Ford Barn! The children and their families enjoyed a special story, played Colonial games such as graces, quoits, shut-the-box, and pick-up sticks, tried their hand at churning ice cream, and, of course, sang "Happy Birthday" to George Washington and celebrated with birthday cake and ice cream.

Details will be coming soon on our next children's event, Irish Story Time, in March!

#rockfordplantation #rockford #discoverlancaster #onlyinlancasterpa #georgewashington #historichousemuseum

Thank you for the tremendous response to our family-friendly George Washington's Birthday Party to be held on February 9...
01/21/2020

Thank you for the tremendous response to our family-friendly George Washington's Birthday Party to be held on February 9. All tickets for this event have now been sold!

Make your reservation today for our family-friendly George Washington's Birthday Party in the Rock Ford Barn on Sunday, ...
01/16/2020

Make your reservation today for our family-friendly George Washington's Birthday Party in the Rock Ford Barn on Sunday, February 9! www.rockford.yapsody.com

01/08/2020

Make your reservations today for George Washington's Birthday Party! Space is limited for this popular family-friendly event.

Wishing everyone a happy, safe and healthy 2020 from Rock Ford!
01/01/2020

Wishing everyone a happy, safe and healthy 2020 from Rock Ford!

12/31/2019
Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo
12/30/2019

Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo

Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo
12/30/2019

Rock Ford Plantation's cover photo

Experience an 18th Century Yuletide today at Rock Ford from 10 am to 3 pm! Tours are conducted like an “Open House.” Vis...
12/28/2019

Experience an 18th Century Yuletide today at Rock Ford from 10 am to 3 pm!

Tours are conducted like an “Open House.” Visitors may arrive anytime between opening and 45 minutes prior to closing to tour the mansion at their own pace.

$10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and youth 6-17, and free for children 5 and under.

#onlyinlancasterpa #discoverlancaster #lancastergram #yuletide #18thcentury #historichousemuseum #lancasterpa

Celebrate an 18th Century Yuletide today at Rock Ford from 4 pm to 8 pm!  Yuletide Candlelight Tours are conducted like ...
12/27/2019

Celebrate an 18th Century Yuletide today at Rock Ford from 4 pm to 8 pm!

Yuletide Candlelight Tours are conducted like an “Open House.” Visitors may arrive anytime between opening and 45 minutes prior to closing to tour the mansion at their own pace.

Admission payable at the door: $10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and youth 6-17, and free for children 5 and under.

#onlyinlancasterpa #discoverlancaster #lancastergram #yuletide #18thcentury #historichousemuseum #lancasterpa

It only happens twice a year! During Rock Ford's Yuletide Candlelight Tours, the lights will be turned on in the display...
12/27/2019

It only happens twice a year! During Rock Ford's Yuletide Candlelight Tours, the lights will be turned on in the display case housing this magnificent 18th century gown that was, according to Hand family tradition, owned by Katherine, the wife of General Edward Hand. For the rest of the year, the gown is displayed in a darkened room with no auxiliary lighting. Come see this exquisite gown in brilliant detail and learn about 18th century Yuletide traditions tomorrow at Rock Ford. Candlelight Tours are from 4 pm to 8 pm. Admission is payable at the door. $10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and youth (ages 6-17), and free for children 5 years and under.

Yuletide at Rock Ford will conclude with Daylight Tours on Saturday, December 28, from 10 am to 3 pm.

#18thcenturyfashions #18thcenturygown #historichousemuseum #yuletide #candlelighttours #rockfordplantation #onlyinlancasterpa #discoverlancaster #rockford

Celebrate an 18th Century Yuletide today at Rock Ford from 4 pm to 8 pm!  Yuletide Candlelight Tours are conducted like ...
12/26/2019

Celebrate an 18th Century Yuletide today at Rock Ford from 4 pm to 8 pm!

Yuletide Candlelight Tours are conducted like an “Open House.” Visitors may arrive anytime between opening and 45 minutes prior to closing to tour the mansion at their own pace.

Admission payable at the door: $10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and youth 6-17, and free for children 5 and under.

#onlyinlancasterpa #discoverlancaster #lancastergram #yuletide #18thcentury #historichousemuseum #lancasterpa

Merry Christmas from Rock Ford! Rock Ford will be open for Yuletide Candlelight Tours on December 26 and 27 from 4 pm to...
12/25/2019

Merry Christmas from Rock Ford!

Rock Ford will be open for Yuletide Candlelight Tours on December 26 and 27 from 4 pm to 8 pm and for Yuletide Daylight Tours on December 28 from 10 am to 3 pm.

#yuletide #onlyinlancasterpa #discoverlancaster #18thcentury #historyinlancasterpa #rockfordplantation #earlyamerica #candlelighttours #historichousemuseums #lancastergram #alwayslancaster

The Rock Ford Museum Shop is stocked for the holidays! If you would like to make a purchase before Christmas, the shop w...
12/17/2019

The Rock Ford Museum Shop is stocked for the holidays! If you would like to make a purchase before Christmas, the shop will be open as follows:

December 18, 19, 20 and 23 from 10 am to 3 pm
December 24 from 10 am to 12 noon

The shop will be open during Yuletide at Rock Ford on December 26 and 27 (Candlelight Tours from 4 pm to 8 pm) and December 28 (Daylight Tours from 10 am to 3 pm).

RENTAL COORDINATOR OPENING AT ROCK FORDRock Ford, a nationally recognized museum and historic site which is also one of ...
12/12/2019

RENTAL COORDINATOR OPENING AT ROCK FORD

Rock Ford, a nationally recognized museum and historic site which is also one of Lancaster’s foremost wedding venues, is seeking a motivated, highly responsible individual with excellent inter-personal skills to serve as the Rental Coordinator for its Wedding and Special Event Venue at its 18th century barn. The Rental Coordinator promptly responds to all inquiries received via phone, email, and wedding marketing websites such as "The Knot" and "Wedding Wire," schedules showings of the barn and grounds with prospective renters, follows-through on the collection of rental contracts, deposits and payments as well as carrying out related responsibilities. Experience in sales and/or marketing is a plus but is not required. Hours are flexible. Income is paid in the form of a generous commission on each rental agreement signed allowing for substantial earning potential.

Interested persons should contact Rock Ford’s Executive Director, Samuel C. Slaymaker at 717-392-7223 or at [email protected].

Address

881 Rockford Rd
Lancaster, PA
17602

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Rock Ford Plantation is the preserved 18th Century home of Edward Hand who served as Adjutant General to George Washington during the American Revolution. Today, Rock Ford is comprised of 33 acres at the southeastern edge of Lancaster City surrounded by Lancaster County Central Park. The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and is recorded in the Historic American Building Survey. Rock Ford is widely considered to be one of the most important examples of Georgian domestic architecture surviving in Pennsylvania and the most intact building predating 1800 in Lancaster County. The mansion’s elegant rooms are furnished with an outstanding collection of period furnishings and decorative arts.

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See the Mansion like you’ve never seen it before! Rock Ford in collaboration with the Lancaster Marionette Theatre presents: "Marionettes in the Mansion" https://rockford.yapsody.com/…/3387…/celebrate-twelfth-night Doors open thirty minutes prior to curtain: When you enter the mansion, your coats will be checked at the General’s Office. Then, head down to the Gift Shop for some light refreshments (wine & a colonial beverage called “shrub”). At curtain time you'll be invited into the kitchen and the performance will begin... The audience will be led through several rooms being entertained and educated with marionettes crated by Robert Brock, Artistic Director of the Lancaster Marionette Theatre. He will be joined by Rock Ford Director Sam Slaymaker and Curator Sarah Alberico. The Un-Restored Room has been turned into a small, intimate theatre, where a musical revue will be presented that goes from Mozart to the Beatles and from Rap to Broadway. Marionettes in the Mansion celebrates Dr. Gen. Edward Hand’s birthday and the anniversary of the Battle of Trenton and Princeton in which Gen. Hand saved the day and perhaps changed the course of our Independence. This isn’t a history lesson, but you’ll learn a lot, be entertained, have a laugh and shed a tear. To celebrate 12th Night (the end of Yuletide and the 12 days of Christmas) you will be treated with a take home tasty colonial Queen's Cake. You may also visit the Gift Shop on your way out. This performance takes place on three separate floors, patrons moving via staircase.
This is the place I was talking about re: wedding next year.
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