By RICHARD F. BELISLE
Staff Writer, Waynesboro
WELSH RUN, Pa. - Many Americans believe the western frontier began in mid-nineteenth century St. Louis and moved west with the wagon trains.
John Stauffer thinks it began around 1730, much farther east, in places like Welsh Run, Pa.
Stauffer, 70, is a retired physician who splits his time between Greencastle, Pa., and Ventura, Calif.
Luring him back more and more is the Conococheague Institute, a local historical society dedicated to the study and preservation of the cultural and natural history of the West Conococheague and Welsh Run areas. Stauffer founded the institute in 1994.
Welsh Run is about three miles south of Pa. 16 west of Upton, Pa. It was settled by Welsh families, including some of Stauffer's ancestors. They came in clans to build farms along the small stream that flows through the area. The Welsh also settled Clay Lick, a small village five miles to the west, Stauffer said.