Genealogy of Rock Hill Farm
Three distinctive ethnic groups left their mark on the landscape of Rock Hill. The history of this Welsh, English/Scots-Irish and Pennsylvania German farmstead mirrors the history of the West Conococheague settlement. Each group brought with them very strong beliefs in their heritage and religion, but somewhat different views on how to live on the land. This legacy survives in the buildings they created and the landscape they modified to fit their needs. The Conococheague Institute is committed to preserving this farmstead and presenting their stories.
John David (Davis) and a group of Welsh Baptists and Presbyterians began the process of settlement in the mid-1730s. His family erected the Davis-Chambers house (1752) with its chestnut logs, puncheon* floor, hand-sawn boards and the Davis smoke-house (1756).
Robert Chambers (1794) improved this log house adding finer windows, doors, walls, trim and stucco so it would match the higher style and status of the homes of his Anglo-Presbyterian neighbors. The finer furnishings and refined social gatherings marked the changing lifestyles of a new Republic. These successful farmers would then move on either into town or off to the expanding West.
A final wave of second and third generation Pennsylvania Germans included the Martin and Negley families who moved onto the farm. These German sectarians erected the Martin-Negley House (1810) with its traditional three room German plan and double entry. This small but refined house was designed to make the eldest members of the family comfortable in their senior years.