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The Borough of Chambersburg is the county seat of Franklin County, having been settled in 1730 by Benjamin Chambers and his brother, who crossed the Susquehanna River and went south to where the Conococheaque Creek runs into the Falling Spring, which ended in a 26-foot high waterfall that would provide plenty of water power for what would eventually be the sawmill and gristmill that Benjamin would establish there. In 1734, he was granted a grant known as a Blunston License for 400 acres from a representative of the Penn family named Samuel Blunston. William Penn did not have a treaty with the Indians to issue land patents or other deeds, so the Blunston License allowed the family representative permission to issue what were basically promissory notes which promised the issuance of a deed if and when that possibility was legal. A local militia was formed in 1748 in order to defend the settlement from Indians, with Benjamin Chambers as its colonel. In 1764, after the peace treaty from the French and Indian War was signed, the settlement was laid out by Colonel Chambers, and it established as a borough in 1803. Chambersburg became a crossroad between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and later it was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Further, John Brown was living at a room at Mary Ritner’s boarding house from June to October of 1859, as were some of his fellow raiders, as he prepared for his raid on Harpers Ferry. It was occupied by Confederate soldiers a total of three times, and on the final time, they burned the center of town.

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