Westmoreland County Historical Society

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Welcome to our website! Whether Westmoreland County is your home, your ancestors' home, or a place you would like to visit, let the Star guide you. 

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Three Centuries of Christmas in America SOLD OUT

Saturdays, December 3 & 10 at Historic Hanna's Town

Consider how Christmas changed in America over three centuries.  When people came to America, they brought the traditions from their homeland with them.  However, over time, various customs were borrowed or melded with the practices of others in the neighborhood, and by the latter part of the 19th century, an American tradition of Christmas began to emerge that united various cultural customs.

Tour size is limited, so reservations are recommended (724-532-1935 x210).  You can call the Museum Shop after 10 AM on Saturday to check on availability that day (724-836-1961).

For more info: Three Centuries of Christmas in America

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Support us when you shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday,

and throughout the Holiday Season. 

Buy through: smile.amazon.com.

& Amazon will donate to Westmoreland County Historical Society


 

Linda Assard won the 18th Century-style Dinner in Hanna's Tavern. 

Thank you to all who bought raffle tickets.  

The proceeds benefit the many programs of the WCHS. 

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THIS MONTH IN HISTORY - DECEMBER 

12/7/1949        Greensburg Coliseum destroyed by fire.

12/10/1785      Newtown, now Greensburg, was selected as the permanent county seat for Westmoreland County.

12/23/1823      "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas") was published in the Troy (NY) Sentinel.  Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem for his six children at Christmas in 1822, and someone submitted it anonymously to the newspaper the following year. Moore was not acknowledged as the author until 1844. 

Much of what we know about St. Nicholas’s annual Christmas journey was popularized by this poem.  Although other publications had previously hinted at Santa’s habits, Moore’s poem provided details and exposed the story to a broad audience.  He told us that St. Nicholas travels in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, and he also gave us their names: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen! 

He revealed that Santa comes down the chimney and thanks to Moore’s encounter that night, we know what St. Nick looks like! ... So – “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

12/23/1908      The Westmoreland County Historical Society was founded.

 

 See Today in History for more dates of particular interest to Westmoreland County.


Star of the West was a title given to Westmoreland County by 18th century German pioneers who regarded it as a "stella" or star as they traveled from eastern Pennsylvania through this region and toward western territories. The 5-pointed star also represents the five counties that were carved from Westmoreland's original boundaries - Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland. This Star reflects our mission to provide a guide through history to a greater understanding of the present and a clearer path to the future.