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Visit the FCHS-K! Tour the Old Jail, John Brown House Museum, and visit the Genealogy Library ~ Combo tours available!

Genealogy Library Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM

Old Jail & John Brown House Museum Tours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM - 3 PM subject to tour guide availability

Gift Shop: Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM

*October tours by appt. only (Visit our Haunted Jail!) * November-April Hours are Thursday-Saturday*

The Old Jail

The Old Jail was built in 1818 and survived the burning of Chambersburg by the Confederate Forces in 1864. This building of Georgian design is one of the oldest in Chambersburg and was placed on the State and National Register of Historical Sites in 1970.​During more than 150 years of use as a prison, The Old Jail housed numerous local criminals, including “Lewis the Robber” and Captain John Cook, one of John Brown’s men who was captured after the unsuccessful raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The cellar contains five domed dungeons with rings in the walls and floors that were used to shackle recalcitrant prisoners.

 

Tradition suggests these cells were also used as a way-station on the “Underground” railway to shelter runaway slaves enroute to freedom in the north.​The Old Jail complex consists of the original building erected in 1818, an annex built in 1880 and a yard enclosed by a 20’ high limestone wall. Several rooms of the original jail and part of the newer cell block comprise a museum of historical artifacts from Franklin County. The visitor experiences the story of the jail through through a guided tour. A gift shop is also available.

OLD JAIL ADMISSION (Last tour starts at 3PM)

Tour Length: 45-60 Min

The Old Jail is available to view through guided tours only. Costs of the tours are as follows:

Adult  $8

Children - 7 to 17  $7

Family - 2 adults and 3 children or less  $13

Family - 2 adults and 4 children  $17

Family - 2 adults and 5 children  $21

Family - 2 adults and 6 children  $25

FREE Member and 2 guests

Group Rates

(Groups of 10 or more please call at least two weeks in advance to schedule your visit)

10 or more adults $7 each (by appointment)

10 or more children $5.50 each (by appointment)

John Brown House (Mary Ritner Boarding House)

Tour both the Old Jail and John Brown House

Tour Length: Approx 1.5 Hours

Adult $10

Children - 7 to 17 $8

Family - 2 adults and 3 children or less $18

Family - 2 adults and 4 children $23

Family - 2 adults and 5 children $28

Family - 2 adults and 6 children $33

FREE Member and 2 guests

10 or more adults $9.50 each (by appt.)

10 or more children $7.50 each (by appt.)

*We recommend calling ahead for combo tours as tour guide availability may be limited!*

717-264-1667

Located less than a block from the Old Jail, the John Brown House (sometimes called the Mary Ritner Boarding house) is designated as an authentic Site in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

 

The John Brown 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 in Harper's Ferry in October 1859.

 

​The Society purchased 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.

JOHN BROWN HOUSE ADMISSION

(Important: All visitors should report to the Old Jail first)

Tour Length: 45 min

*We recommend calling ahead for John Brown House tours as tour guide availability may be limited!*

717-264-1667

Adult $7

Children - 7 to 17 $6

Family - 2 adults and 3 children or less $13

Family - 2 adults and 4 children $16

Family - 2 adults and 5 children $19

Family - 2 adults and 6 children $21

FREE Member and 2 guests

10 or more adults $6 each (by appt.)

10 or more children $5.50 each (by appt.)

Combo Tours
Blue Star Museum

Accessibility:

The first floor of the Old Jail is accessible by ramp. During the tour there are uneven floors, stairs, poorly lit areas and areas without climate control.

 

The Genealogy Library is accessible by stairs only.

 

The John Brown house is accessible by stairs only. During the tour there are uneven floors & steps.

Phone: 717-264-1667

175 E King Street

Chambersburg, PA 17201

Genealogy Evening Hours
6:00-8:30 PM
July 16, 2024 & August 20, 2024

Genealogy Library Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM

Old Jail & John Brown House Museum Tours:

Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM - 3 PM

John Brown House tours check in at the Old Jail

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