Taking Root

Mt. Gretna has a history and culture like no other place. People who visit often return again and again.

The Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society took root when two community historians, Jack Bitner and Fred Buch, endeavored to safeguard that which makes this little community live in the hearts of so many. In the spring of 2004, they began what has grown into a professional record and catalog of the community’s history. The museum, in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Chautauqua, is home to artifacts and oral history recordings. The heritage shows how a little town reflected the growth of the nation as a whole from the iron boom to military installments, to a thirst for culture and ideas to a spiritual awakening.

As time passes, so does our history and individual recollection. It is with this sense of urgency that the Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society was founded and continues to grow. Since its inception, it has drawn membership from Ephrata, Harrisburg, Hershey, and Lebanon to far-flung admirers in California, Texas, Florida, and New England.

Our Mission

The Society is charged with preserving the heritage of the entire Mount Gretna area, including Mount Gretna Borough, Campmeeting, the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, The Heights, Timber Hills, Conewago Hill, Stoberdale, areas to Colebrook once occupied by the Pennsylvania National Guard, and areas of Cornwall which involved the Coleman family.


  • Chair – Susan Hostetter

  • Vice Chair – Ralph Zimmerman

  • Secretary – Marcie Lloyd

  • Treasurer – Bob Eynon


  • Jay Benjamin

  • Bob Eynon

  • Margaret Hopkins

  • Susan Hostetter

  • Marcie Lloyd

  • Robin May

  • Steve Mellinger

  • Chic Rhoads

  • Michelle Shay

  • Deb Simpson

  • Ralph Zimmerman

  • Fred Buch, Director Emeritus

  • Dr. David Bronstein, Director Emeritus


  • John Feather – Honorary Trustee

  • Stephen R. Gibble – Honorary Trustee

  • Roland Nissley – Honorary Trustee


Visit the Support page to learn more about volunteer opportunities with the following committees.

  • Building & Grounds

  • Communications & Marketing

  • Development

  • Finance

  • Membership

  • Museum & Archives

  • Programs/Events

  • Publications

  • Oral History