Living History - Seton Shrine

Living History

Become part of the story…

Nestled among Maryland’s mountain, learn about what life was like in early 19th century in what Mother Seton called Saint Joseph’s Valley. Visitors have the opportunity to engage historical interpreters, many of whom portrays a student or a sister from Mother Seton’s time. Jump back in time for an immersive engagement with characters as they go about their daily activities and sharing stories.

Weekly Schedule & Tickets

Regularly Scheduled Programming:

Character Tours

Fridays 2 PM & 3:30 PM

Learn from a person who lived and worked with Mother Seton with a character tour that is designed to guide you through the Historic Homes of Mother Seton from a different perspective.

Hands-On History!

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday, 11am & 2pm

Discover life during Mother Seton times through activities, crafts, or games. Fun for all ages; Free Program. Select dates to see what aspect of Mother Seton’s life you can immerse yourself in during our Living History Program (2nd and 4th Saturdays).


Living History Experience

Saturdays 10 AM – 4:30 PM, last admission at 3:30 PM

Step back in time to the year 1818 at St. Joseph’s Academy, and engage with our living history interpreters, including our Junior History Interpreters who portrays real students from Mother Seton’s time. Don’t be shy: you are encouraged to speak with them and even play a game or two. Don’t be surprised if you are pulled into class to learn a new thing or two.

Walk With Characters

All characters portray real people from Mother Seton’s life! If you wish to know who you will be walking with for the Character Tours the day of your visit, please call ahead at 301-447-6072 as our characters are on a rotating schedule Thursdays and Fridays.

Sister Sally Thompson

Sister Sally is one of the founding sisters of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s and consequently, spent her entire life in Emmitsburg. Her strong and cheerful disposition never let up—even during her copious laundry duty!

Sister Margaret George

Meeting Mother Seton in Baltimore as a young married woman, Margaret George arrives to Emmitsburg after the untimely death of her husband and daughter. Sister Margaret was one of the instrumental sisters in the founding of St. Joseph’s Academy, who daily puts on perseverance, piety and humility.

Sister Cecilia O’Conway

Initially looking for a quiet life in a cloistered community in Spain, Cecilia met Mother Seton in 1808 and became one of the first Sisters of Charity.  She can be found savoring quiet moments away from the students, reflecting on the early years of the order, and leading German instruction.

Sister Mary Augustine DeCount

A young musician from Philadelphia, Mary DeCount learns of Mother Seton and wanted to follow her when she became of age. Finally arriving in 1817, Mary takes a position as a novice and teacher, and is called Sister Mary Augustine. If she’s not with the students, you may find her in the chapel discerning her vocation.

Get Your Tickets Today!

Select the date and time that works for you, and you will be directed to a check out page.

Extras to Add to Your Experience:

  • Consider viewing our new 15 minute film for free before you go on a tour
  • Admission is free for our museum. To view the exhibits and artifacts in our museum, allow for about 15-30 minutes.
  • During your visit, allow time to choose a special memento in our gift shop to remember your visit.
  • Click here for hours and directions.

Throughout the year

The below programs are offered once a year and are perfect for groups!

Contact 301-447-6981 or to learn more.