About Us

The Three P’s - The Foundation’s efforts can be represented by a triangle with three equally-important sides all of which are necessary to create a world-class living history museum:

     Preservation - Restoring existing and reconstructing archaeologically found buildings to create the look and feel of the 1770 to 1820 interpretive period.
     Presentation - Conducting tours, programs and events with period-costumed individuals who vividly capture the imagination of the visitor.
     Participation - Welcoming and encouraging a large group of volunteers to become involved in Elk Landing and by doing so Preserving the Past for the Future.


The base and support for the triangle with three equally-important sides is Participation. It will be through involvement of dozens of individuals like yourselves that Elk Landing will be able to become a wonderful living history museum. The Foundation would very much appreciated your time and efforts and there exists many ways that you as an individual, or your organization or company can make a difference. Some of them are:

Membership - Sign up for Foundation’s membership at any level and receive a quarterly newsletter called, The Landing which will keep you informed about current activities and forthcoming events. In addition your membership entitles you to free entrance to special programs.

Volunteering - Become a part of Preserving the Past for the Future at Elk Landing. The site offers a truly wonderful opportunity to leave our rich heritage to current and future generations. Volunteer opportunities exist at many different levels from assisting with site cleanup to dressing in a Colonial costume and interpreting an individual from the past.

Gifting Opportunities - The Foundation has established several funds where individuals, groups or companies can make tax-deductible gifts which will benefit the restoration and interpretive programs at Elk Landing.



The visitor to Elk Landing should not only see an authentic late 18th and early 19th Century village, but also develop an appreciation for the impact the village and its people had on the founding of America. This will be accomplished through costumed interpretive characters leading programs
and conducting annual events. Some of these are:

Evening Walking Tours - Through the assistance of a grant provided by the Lower Susquehanna Greenway, augmented by Foundation funding, plans are underway to provide three different evening candle-lit walking tour programs. They will be offered as soon as resources allow for their development. Each will last for about one hour, and in the planning stage are:

- Music Echoes Along the Elk
- Patriot Voices Along the Pathway
- Legends of Elk Landing

In each program a group of individuals led by a costumed interpretive guide will visit three or four locations at Elk Landing and hear different kinds of period music; listen to pleas from George Washington, Col. Henry Hollingsworth, and other patriots urging American independence from Great Britain; or in the case of legends learn about things, that some say, go bump in the night!

Annual Events - A number of historically-significant events have occurred at Elk Landing and each year these will be re-enacted providing visitors an opportunity for participation. Please see our "Upcoming Events" link under "What's New" to view our current schedule. We plan to offer the following events each year:

Defenders’ Day, April 29 - Celebrates the defense of Elkton from burning by the British in the War of 1812 when their ships were repulsed by cannon fire from Forts Hollingsworth and Defiance.

Independence Day, Fourth of July - When news of the signing of the
Declaration of Independence reaches the Head of Elk there is a celebration featuring music, cannon fire, and patriotic addresses from historically attired leading citizens. Musket volleys ends the day long event. (Most likely this event would be celebrated the week following Elkton’s Fourth of July fireworks in Meadow Park.)

British Invasion Day, August 25 - British soldiers return to the Head of Elk where they first disembarked in 1777 en-route to capture the American capitol in Philadelphia. This time they are met with some resistance from local militia. Come to see who wins!

Victory at Yorktown Day, October 19 - On September 22, 1782 George Washington and his troops pass through Head of Elk enroute to Yorktown for a decisive victory over General Cornwallis and the British at Yorktown. When the word of the surrender of 6000 British troops reaches Elk Landing a celebration ensues. Don’t miss it!

Christmas at the Hollingsworth, mid to late December - A 1790s candle-lit plantation home with decorations of greens, fruit, oyster shells, painted seed pods, along with ribbon and bows provide a festive holiday atmosphere for the visitor. Period music and singing add to the ambience as everyone enjoys a mug of wassail.

Costumed Interpreters - Leading all of the programs and events will be costumed characters portraying someone who actually lived near or at Elk Landing, and these individuals will interact with visitors in a period-appropriate manner. They will inform, engage and hopefully inspire the visitors to comprehend what it meant to be an American during the interpretive period of 1770 to 1820.


There are three principle preservation activities underway which are leading towards the public opening of Elk Landing as an interpretive living history museum akin to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia or Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. They are:

Archaeological - Before proceeding with reconstruction, it is imperative we understand what went before. The Foundation has drafted the work statement for the archaeological investigation and is currently seeking a grant to fund the effort.

Concept Development - Once the archaeological investigation is complete, a highly visual concept development plan will be produced. This will provide the roadmap for the overall long term redevelopment of the site including roads, paths, parking, lighting, water and sewer infrastructure, and general guidelines for signage and the reconstruction of buildings.

Restoration of Existing Structures - With the aid of an historical architect plans for the restoration of the Hollingsworth Plantation Home and the Jon Hans Steelman Tavern are being evaluated. It is anticipated the Hollingsworth home will be used as a visitor’s center featuring a transportation museum, research library, audio-visual orientation center, museum gift shop and offices for the Foundation. The Steelman stone structure will become a Colonial candle-lit waterfront dining tavern featuring Chesapeake Bay seafood, eastern shore chicken and locally grown produce.

Reconstruction of Archaeologically Found Structures
- As Elk Landing was the center for travelers and shipping for many years, it is anticipated the hidden remains of many other structures will be located during the archaeological investigation. Believed to have been on the site or close by would be businesses operated by a blacksmith, tanner, printer, tinsmith, cooper (for making barrels and shipping crates), and other craft industries practiced in the Colonial and early Federal periods. As evidence of these businesses is uncovered, plans will be evolved to reconstruct the operation and staff it with costumed interpretive guides.