Westmoreland Historical Society & Historic Hanna's Town

Westmoreland Historical Society & Historic Hanna's Town Nonprofit dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Based at Historic Hanna's Town, the first county seat of Westmoreland.
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The Westmoreland County Historical Society, the official historical society for the county, is an educational organization that manages historical resources in order to educate a large and diverse audience about the more than 225 year history of Westmoreland County in ways that offer people connections to the past, an understanding of the present, and guidance for the future. Founded in 1908, the Historical Society is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation. The Society maintains a 700,000 item archival collection; the 5000-volume Calvin E. Pollins Memorial Library for local history and genealogical research; a 3,500 item curatorial collection; administers Historic Hanna's Town and manages over one-million artifacts from Hanna's Town archaeological site.

The Westmoreland County Historical Society, the official historical society for the county, is an educational organization that manages historical resources in order to educate a large and diverse audience about the more than 225 year history of Westmoreland County in ways that offer people connections to the past, an understanding of the present, and guidance for the future. Founded in 1908, the Historical Society is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation. The Society maintains a 700,000 item archival collection; the 5000-volume Calvin E. Pollins Memorial Library for local history and genealogical research; a 3,500 item curatorial collection; administers Historic Hanna's Town and manages over one-million artifacts from Hanna's Town archaeological site.

Operating as usual

Deadline extended! Applications for our administrative and education positions now remain open until March 1. Please vis...
02/23/2021
Westmoreland Historical Society lists available positions ahead of season

Deadline extended! Applications for our administrative and education positions now remain open until March 1. Please visit our website for details: https://westmorelandhistory.org/about-us/staff-and-board

While several programs are up in the air due to the covid-19 pandemic, staff with the Westmoreland County Historical Society are preparing for the start of their season. Following precautions used over the summer — including face masks, temperature checks and small group sizes — society....

Sonny Clark (1931-1963) was a jazz musician with Westmoreland roots.Conrad Yeatis Clark was born in the coal mining town...
02/20/2021

Sonny Clark (1931-1963) was a jazz musician with Westmoreland roots.

Conrad Yeatis Clark was born in the coal mining town of Herminie Number Two. His father, Emery, worked at the mine and later died of what we now know as black lung disease. His mother, Ruth, moved her family of eight children to the nearby Redwood Inn. Owned by John Redwood, the inn was an entertainment haven for Westmoreland County’s small but growing Black population. There, the Clark children were immersed in music, with young Sonny learning to play piano and showing a talent for the performing arts.

Clark attended Jeannette High School, where he participated in theatre, orchestra, football, and community service projects. After graduation in 1952, he faced personal hardships, losing his mother to breast cancer and the Redwood Inn when it burned to the ground. While visiting his aunt in California, he decided to stay to try a career as a jazz pianist.

On February 20, 1953, Clark made his recording debut with highly acclaimed saxophonist Wardell Gray. He toured Europe until January 1954, and relocated to New York City to accompany singer Dinah Washington. He frequently recorded for Blue Note Records and worked with many performers in the hard bop subgenre of jazz, including John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Sonny Rollins. He also recorded with Billie Holiday.

Clark’s life was cut short in 1963, when he died of a drug overdose at age 31. Almost 50 years after Sonny died, Richard Brody of The New Yorker described him as a “hidden hero whose compositions and accompaniments endure in vastly great disproportion to his profile.”

#BlackHistoryMonth

02/20/2021

The Westmoreland History Education Center is closed again today, February 20, due to winter weather. Stay safe out there! ❄️

02/18/2021

The Westmoreland History Education Center is closed today, February 18, due to winter weather. Stay safe out there! ❄️

Join our team at the Westmoreland Historical Society! We are hiring a part-time Administrative Assistant, part-time seas...
02/17/2021

Join our team at the Westmoreland Historical Society! We are hiring a part-time Administrative Assistant, part-time seasonal Education Assistant, and summer Education Intern.

Visit our website here: https://westmorelandhistory.org/about-us/staff-and-board and find the job descriptions below!

Wishing you a lovely Valentine's Day! 💕 "Love seems to be something that keeps filling up within us. The more we give aw...
02/14/2021

Wishing you a lovely Valentine's Day! 💕

"Love seems to be something that keeps filling up within us. The more we give away, the more we have to give." - Fred Rogers

In light of the recent Super Bowl, we are highlighting Westmoreland County native Willie Thrower (1930 - 2002), the firs...
02/12/2021

In light of the recent Super Bowl, we are highlighting Westmoreland County native Willie Thrower (1930 - 2002), the first African American quarterback in the modern National Football League and in the Big Ten Conference.

Born and raised in New Kensington, Thrower played football at New Kensington High (now Valley High School). He helped the team win 24 straight games, including the 1946 and 1947 WPIAL championships.

After graduation, Thrower became a member of Michigan State's national championship team in 1952. In 1953, he was offered an $8,500 one-year contract to play for the Chicago Bears. Coincidentally, his roommate was George Blanda, born in Youngwood.

In a 2002 interview, Thrower reflected on his career, saying, "I look at it like this: I was like the Jackie Robinson of football. A black quarterback was unheard of before I hit the pros."

In 2003, an official state marker was dedicated to Willie Thrower at Valley High School, and in 2006, a statue was erected nearby to honor his accomplishments and legacy.

#BlackHistoryMonth

Black history is American history - and Westmoreland history, too. From slavery to freedom, the Civil War to the Civil R...
02/05/2021
Here from the beginning: Honoring Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Black history

Black history is American history - and Westmoreland history, too. From slavery to freedom, the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, flying airplanes to scoring touchdowns, and to the present day, Black individuals and communities have played a role in making local history.

We will be sharing stories throughout Black History Month, beginning with this article that explores how Black history has evolved in Western Pennsylvania from the late 18th century through the 20th century: https://triblive.com/local/regional/here-from-the-beginning-honoring-southwestern-pennsylvanias-black-history/

When Pennsylvania partially abolished slavery in 1780, it established the Pittsburgh region — between the Southern slave states and Northern free states — as a destination for Black Americans looking for liberty. “It set Western Pennsylvania up as the crossroads between slavery and freedom,”...

Join our team at the Westmoreland Historical Society! We are hiring a part-time Administrative Assistant, part-time seas...
02/03/2021

Join our team at the Westmoreland Historical Society! We are hiring a part-time Administrative Assistant, part-time seasonal Education Assistant, and summer Education Intern.

Visit our website here: https://westmorelandhistory.org/about-us/staff-and-board Click on the job descriptions under each position to learn more!

Apply for the Administrative Assistant position by emailing Executive Director, Lisa Hays, at [email protected].

Apply for the education positions by emailing Education & Interpretation Manager, Pamela Curtin, at [email protected]

Applications are due Friday, Feburary 19. Thank you!

Westmoreland County finds a home in the White House. Master glass cutter, Peter O'Rourke, and his shop staff in Mount Pl...
01/20/2021
Pittsburgh-Area Glass Cutter Handcrafts Special Inauguration Gifts For Joe Biden And Kamala Harris

Westmoreland County finds a home in the White House. Master glass cutter, Peter O'Rourke, and his shop staff in Mount Pleasant, have etched and polished Lenox crystal presented on Inauguration Day to five consecutive presidents and vice presidents.

This year, the Mount Pleasant shop handcrafted two crystal vases featuring detailed images of the White House and United States Capitol Building.

Westmoreland County has a long tradition of glassmaking that O'Rourke and his staff keep alive today.

A Pittsburgh-area glass cutter handcrafted special inauguration gifts for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

We are happy to share that the recent documentary featuring Hanna's Town is available to watch on YouTube. "Out of the W...
01/19/2021
Out of the Woods: Battlefields of Western Pennsylvania

We are happy to share that the recent documentary featuring Hanna's Town is available to watch on YouTube. "Out of the Woods" explores the events in western Pennsylvania that led up to the American Revolution 🇺🇸

With stunning photography and fascinating interviews, the 30-minute documentary, which originally debuted on WQED Pittsburgh, takes viewers to historic sites including Fort Ligonier, Fort Necessity, Fort Pitt, Bushy Run Battlefield, Braddock's Battlefield, and Historic Hanna's Town.

Watch the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdDPaVe3QG4&feature=emb_title

Learn more: https://westmorelandhistory.org/hannas-town-featured-in-new-documentary

In the mid 1700s, the world's two greatest military powers, France and Great Britain, focused their attention on Western Pennsylvania. The French were seekin...

Our hearts go out to all whose lives were touched by the life and legacy of Joanne Rogers. An accomplished musician and ...
01/15/2021
Joanne Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers, dies at 92

Our hearts go out to all whose lives were touched by the life and legacy of Joanne Rogers. An accomplished musician and advocate for education and the arts, Mrs. Rogers was instrumental in carrying on her husband's work by founding the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Thank you to Joanne for being a kind and generous neighbor to the Westmoreland County community.

David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" confirmed she died Thursday.

Tune in to WQED at 8 p.m. tonight, January 14, for a new documentary about the lead-up to the American Revolution in wes...
01/14/2021

Tune in to WQED at 8 p.m. tonight, January 14, for a new documentary about the lead-up to the American Revolution in western Pennsylvania. "Out of the Woods" features many regional historic sites including Historic Hanna's Town, as well as reenactments by Proctor's Militia, I.B.W.C.P.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQHkYAzE3qc

01/11/2021
WQED Pittsburgh

Tune in to WQED this Thursday, January 14, at 8 p.m. for a new documentary about the role of western Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War and American Revolution 🇺🇸

The documentary features stories and images of Historic Hanna's Town, Bushy Run Battlefield, Fort Ligonier, Fort Pitt Museum, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and Braddock's Battlefield History Center, historic sites that are dedicated to preserving and sharing this history.

***YOUR FIRST LOOK***
Southwestern Pennsylvania played a key role in a war that led to the American Revolution in the 18th Century. And many of the key sites of the conflict are preserved and restored for future generations. A new WQED documentary provides insight to these historic battlefield sites.

In the mid-1700s, the world's two greatest military powers, France and Great Britain, focused their attention on western Pennsylvania. The French were seeking Native American trade partners in a land of abundant natural resources, while the British were looking to colonize. This set the stage for a world war with key battlefields in the Pittsburgh region. With stunning photography and fascinating interviews, the 30-minute documentary takes viewers to historic sites including Fort Ligonier, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Fort Pitt Museum, Bushy Run Battlefield, Braddock's Battlefield History Center, and historic Westmoreland Historical Society & Historic Hanna's Town.

"Out of the Woods: Battlefields of Western Pennsylvania" was produced, filmed & edited by multiple Emmy® Award winner Paul Ruggieri. The documentary was made possible with support from the Allegheny Regional Asset District and the members of WQED.

Premieres January 14th at 8pm on WQED!

We are now open to the public on Thursdays-Saturdays, 10:30 - 4:30 p.m. ⭐️ The Christmas Memories exhibit will be open u...
01/07/2021

We are now open to the public on Thursdays-Saturdays, 10:30 - 4:30 p.m.

⭐️ The Christmas Memories exhibit will be open until January 16 and then the gallery will be closed.

⭐️ The Westmoreland History Shop is continuing its end of season sale, 45% off holiday merchandise and 30% off all other merchandise.

⭐️ The research library is open for those interested in genealogy and regional history studies.

COVID-19 safety procedures such as lower capacity, wearing masks, no-touch temperature checks, and hand sanitizing remain in place.

Please check our Facebook and website for the most up-to-date hours of operation, which are subject to change in light of COVID-19: https://westmorelandhistory.org/visit Also feel free to give us a call at 724-836-1800. Thank you!

We are reopening the Education Center tomorrow, January 7, and offering an extended run of the Christmas Memories exhibi...
01/06/2021

We are reopening the Education Center tomorrow, January 7, and offering an extended run of the Christmas Memories exhibit until January 16.

Keep the holiday spirit into the new year by remembering Christmases past! Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/412979979918650

Our winter operating hours are Thursdays-Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Please check our website or call us at 724-836-1800 to confirm any changes to hours of operation. Thank you!

The Westmoreland History Education Center will reopen Thursday, January 7, and begin winter hours of Thursdays-Saturdays...
01/05/2021

The Westmoreland History Education Center will reopen Thursday, January 7, and begin winter hours of Thursdays-Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

⭐️ The Christmas Memories exhibit has been extended to January 16.

⭐️ The Westmoreland History Shop is continuing its end of season sale, 45% off holiday merchandise and 30% off all other merchandise.

⭐️ The research library is open for those interested in genealogy and regional history studies.

COVID-19 safety procedures such as lower capacity, wearing masks, no-touch temperature checks, and hand sanitizing remain in place.

Please visit our website or call us at 724-836-1800 for our most up-to-date hours of operation. Thank you!

Wishing you a safe and happy new year! Thank you again for your support over the last year and looking forward to sharin...
01/01/2021

Wishing you a safe and happy new year! Thank you again for your support over the last year and looking forward to sharing more history with you in 2021.

12/31/2020

While the last year presented many challenges for us all, we had moments to celebrate at the Westmoreland Historical Society, too. One successful project was the relocation and reconstruction of the Lefevre House to Historic Hanna's Town.

Originally located in the Jeannette area, the house dates to the late 18th or early 19th century. Both the house and funds to reconstruct it were donated by Thelma Lefevre and her family. Over the past year, the house was carefully taken apart and reconstructed at Historic Hanna's Town, joining many other reconstructed buildings and structures that interpret early American history.

This last video explores the finishing touches put on the house, including the chimney, fireplace, porch, doors, windows, and fixtures. Many hard working construction crews and volunteers made the house come together so beautifully!

Thank you for following along on this exciting journey! Keep an eye out for another video of the Storehouse reconstruction coming soon...

Watch more videos of the Lefevre House reconstruction here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/145292345515474/1416985838488245

12/21/2020

Come explore Christmases of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s in this new video featuring stories from our exhibit, Christmas Memories! 🎄

Discover the midcentury origins of some modern holiday traditions, such as cooking and baking, sending cards, decorating Christmas trees, setting up train displays, and finding classic gifts on Christmas morning.

What are some of your favorite Christmas memories?

(Music provided by YouTube Audio Library: Christmas Village by Aaron Kenny; O Christmas Tree (instrumental) by the Jingle Punks; Canon and Variation by Twin Musicom, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. http://www.twinmusicom.org/)

Find last minute holiday gifts at our museum shop! We are open this weekend only and offering 45% off holiday merchandis...
12/19/2020

Find last minute holiday gifts at our museum shop! We are open this weekend only and offering 45% off holiday merchandise and 30% off all other merchandise.

Please note that our exhibit gallery, library, and historic buildings are closed. Our grounds are open, just dress for the snow!

Our shop will be open this weekend only for our annual holiday sale. We are offering 45% off holiday merchandise and 30% off all other merchandise. Our shop features history-inspired books for adults and children, holiday and home décor, vintage toys and games, jams and jellies, handmade ceramics, jewelry, artwork, and more.

Please note that while the shop is open this weekend, the exhibit gallery, library, and historic buildings are closed. A self-guided walking tour on the grounds, Christmas Past, is open to the public dawn to dusk.

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/418602789193103/

Our shop will be open this weekend only for our annual holiday sale. We are offering 45% off holiday merchandise and 30%...
12/17/2020

Our shop will be open this weekend only for our annual holiday sale. We are offering 45% off holiday merchandise and 30% off all other merchandise. Our shop features history-inspired books for adults and children, holiday and home décor, vintage toys and games, jams and jellies, handmade ceramics, jewelry, artwork, and more.

Please note that while the shop is open this weekend, the exhibit gallery, library, and historic buildings are closed. A self-guided walking tour on the grounds, Christmas Past, is open to the public dawn to dusk.

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/418602789193103/

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the Kendra Gallery and Pollins Library at the Westmoreland History Education Cente...
12/12/2020

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the Kendra Gallery and Pollins Library at the Westmoreland History Education Center will be closed December 12 through January 6, 2021. The Museum Shop will remain open Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13.

Normal winter hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. These hours will be in effect as of January 7, 2021.

Our outdoor self-guided Christmas Past tour may be visited dawn to dusk at Historic Hanna's Town.

Stay safe and we will see you soon!

Thank you to everyone who supported us on Giving Tuesday! Your generosity is helping us rebuild the Storehouse in the Fo...
12/02/2020

Thank you to everyone who supported us on Giving Tuesday! Your generosity is helping us rebuild the Storehouse in the Fort at Historic Hanna's Town. The addition of the Storehouse improves the historical accuracy of the site, provides more space for educational programs and reenactments, and allows us to better interpret the story of Hanna's Town. Thank you again for helping us preserve history!

If you are still interested in supporting this project, please visit our website here: https://westmorelandhistory.org/donate

With so many wonderful causes to support on Giving Tuesday, we appreciate you considering the Westmoreland Historical So...
12/01/2020

With so many wonderful causes to support on Giving Tuesday, we appreciate you considering the Westmoreland Historical Society. This year, we are spotlighting reconstruction of the Storehouse in the Fort at Historic Hanna's Town.

In early 2020, with the expertise on site to relocate the LeFevre log house, we decided to reinvigorate the Storehouse. Many volunteers have donated their time and talents to make this project possible. With the unexpected financial challenges brought on by COVID-19, now we need to replenish our storehouse!

Donate by visiting our website at https://westmorelandhistory.org/donate and clicking the PayPal link. You can also send checks to our office with "Giving Tuesday" in the memo.

Address

809 Forbes Trail Rd
Greensburg, PA
15601-6548

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Westmoreland Historical Society & Historic Hanna’s Town

This historical settlement near Greensburg, PA, holds a special place in American history. Established by Irish farmer and businessman Robert Hanna in 1773, Hanna’s Town served as the site of the first English court west of the Allegheny Mountains and first seat of government for Westmoreland County.

Hanna’s Town was home to frontier settlers and hosted travelers along the Forbes Road. The Hanna’s Town Resolves, adopted May 16, 1775, illustrate how frontier people helped fuel the movement toward American independence. During the Revolutionary War, Hanna’s Town recruited men not only for the Continental Army, but also for the militia that aided in the western campaigns against Native American allies of the British. In 1782, Hanna’s Town was destroyed by the Seneca and their British allies in one of the last conflicts of the Revolutionary War.

The site's subsequent conversion to farmland in the early 1800s preserved it as an archaeological time capsule of frontier life during the waning British colonial period and the emerging American republic.

Hanna’s Town Today

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Comments

I am looking to prove John W Neal (Neel) 1746-1821 was the father of Andrew Jackson Neal he lived to Estill Co, KY settled in and had Creath Neal, Robert E Neal and he was the father of my grandmother Maude Neal.
Hi! I live in the first original permanent house (red brick) built in the area, circa 1783. It was constructed on the 900+ acre lot by Christopher Walthour who also had constructed Fort Walthour in 1774 where the current Kohl’s in North Huntington (Irwin) sits. They owned most all of the land in the Irwin/Manor area but we currently have a 1 acre lot where the house is ☺️. Across the street on Sandy Hill Road used to sit the Walthour Grist Mill and many streets in Manor are named after its I am searching for anyone, descendants etc who can tell me more about our home. I am on a quest to get it registered as a historical landmark and would love to find out more in any avenue possible whether stories or connections. Thanks in advance for anyone that can help 💗!
This is a 8mm movie my grandfather took of a parade in western PA around 1958 that includes this community. I wanted to share it and am interested in any information about this event.
Hi! Does anyone know when the Antiques & Collectibles Market will reopen? Thank you!
Glad to see that Hanna’s town is growing
Hello, are dogs allowed on the property or do you suggest to leave them at home? Thank you
David AKA “Wild Colonial Boy”, excited to perform great music for Hanna’s Town this weekend. Come hear him and the rest of Gallowglass!