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“From Terror to Freedom” chronicles earliest settlers

GREENCASTLE - A new annual speaker series, “From Terror to Freedom,” begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 2, at 9:30 a.m. in the barn at Allison-Antrim Museum, 365 S. Ridge Ave., Greencastle.

“From Terror to Freedom” pays homage to the late William P. Conrad, Greencastle-Antrim historian, who wrote the book “From Terror to Freedom in the Cumberland Valley” in 1976.  Part I of Conrad's book detailed, “… the stories of settlers coming into the Cumberland Valley; their struggle for survival during the Indian Wars; and, the Valley’s role in the Revolution.”  Part II contained biographical notes of, “…people (from Cumberland County) who played important leadership roles in the Revolution.”

The first speaker of the morning will be John Miller, park director of the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum. During his PowerPoint presentation, “South Mountain during the French and Indian War,” Miller will share stories about the struggles and hardships of living in and near South Mountain. South Mountain was once the gateway to Appalachia as hundreds of migrants carved out a new life. Then the French and Indian War erupted, and South Mountain was no longer a safe place to live.

Roger Swartz , the second presenter, will talk about the “Significance of the Conococheague Settlements (East & West) in Pontiac’s War – 1763-1764.”  Swartz is a teacher of American history up to the Civil War, and also teaches about Native American cultures of the Northeast.  He is a teacher of continuing education at Frederick Community College, Hagerstown Community College and Howard Community College.

Swartz has led programs for The Smithsonian Associates in Washington, D.C, the National Park Service, Fort Necessity, Mount Vernon, and Edlerhostel programs. He is also the author of two books dealing with the frontier history of Pennsylvania, "Frankstown: Anatomy of an Ambush," and "Fields of Honor: The Battle of Fort Freeland, July 28, 1779." He holds two master's degrees from Lehigh University.

There is no admission fee for “From Terror to Freedom,” but donations are appreciated. For more information visit:, look for the museum on Facebook or Twitter @greencastlemuzm, or call 717-597-9010.

Allison-Antrim Museum is open regularly from noon- 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturday.