The Library System of Lancaster County is pleased to welcome The Rock Ford Plantation as a new Family Museum Pass partner. The addition of The Rock Ford Plantation to the Family Museum Pass program is the tenth museum pass to be a part of this successful library/museum partnership initiative.
According to Sam Slaymaker, Rock Ford Plantation Director, “Rock Ford Plantation is delighted to become part of the Family Museum Pass Program. Although we are privileged to receive visitors from around the nation and the world, it is always a particular pleasure to be able to share this historic gem with visitors from our own community who are experiencing it for the first time. We would like to thank the Eiserer-Hickey Fund of the Lancaster County Community Foundation for making our participating in this fine program possible.”
The project promotes family activities focused on shared educational experiences. Pete Petruski, Interim Executive Director for the Library System, shares his enthusiasm for this new addition to the Family Museum Pass Program, “We’re really excited to have Rock Ford Plantation as a partner in the Museum Pass Program. The residents of Lancaster County are extremely fortunate to have this wonderful historical site right in their back yard. The generosity of the LCCF’s Eiserer-Hickey Fund has made this new partnership with the Rock Ford Plantation possible; thus allowing more people to experience history up close. We look forward to hearing from the patrons of our member libraries who get to enjoy Rock Ford Plantation through this program.”
Len Eiserer initiated funding for the Family Museum Pass Program through the Lancaster County Community Foundation in 2006. Through the generosity of the Eiserer-Hickey Fund, this support has allowed the program to now include ten Museums located in Lancaster County.
The Rock Ford Plantation Background History
The Rock Ford Plantation is the 18th Century home of Revolutionary War General Edward Hand. Rock Ford is a unique example of Georgian domestic architecture surviving in Pennsylvanian and the most intact building predating 1800 in Lancaster County. It is a private, non-profit foundation that is comprised of 33 acres at the southeastern edge of Lancaster City surrounded by Lancaster County Central Park. Edward Hand purchased the “plantation tract of land” upon which he would later build Rock Ford in two transactions: 160 acres in 1785 and 17 additional acres in 1792. (“Plantation” was an 18th Century term for a farm under cultivation). Rock Ford stands on the banks of the Conestoga River, one mile south of downtown Lancaster. While owned by the Hand family, the property was a working farm with fields, livestock, and extensive orchards. Edward Hand, an avid horticulturist, is remembered for introducing a strain of plum, which subsequently for his name. By the late 1790’s, in addition to the mansion, the plantation boasted a tenant house, spring house, two barns, and numerous outbuildings.
The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is recorded in the Historic American Building Survey.
The Rock Ford Plantation offers Student Group Tours.
For complete information about Rock Ford, visit: http://www.rockfordplantation.org
For a calendar of Special Events visit: http://rockfordplantation.org/events/
About the Family Museum Pass Program
The Family Museum Pass Program began in 2006 as a pilot program with the North Museum of Natural History & Science. Since this project started, the program has expanded to now include nine partnering museums located in Lancaster County. The Family Museum Pass program provides free entry to families into these participating museums.
- The North Museum of Natural History & Science (2006)
- The National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia (2007)
- Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum (2008)
- National Toy Train Museum in Paradise (September 2009)
- Ephrata Cloister (October 2009)
- The 1719 Hans Herr House & Museum (2011)
- Lancaster Science Factory (2012)
- Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (2013)
- LancasterHistory.org (2014)
The Passes are available at all seventeen public libraries in Lancaster County and the Bookmobile. The Library System of Lancaster County administers this project through the Eiserer-Hickey Fund of the Lancaster County Community Foundation.