Westmoreland County Historical Society

School Information

School Information - Hands on the Past

hannastown1.jpgHannas Town Hands on the Past is an interactive program designed to give you and your students insight into daily life at a Revolutionary War era frontier settlement. The program, which is conducted by Tour Guides in 18th century dress, is appropriate for children in the 3rd through 6th grades and includes the following:

Pre-visit materials provide historical information about Historic Hanna's Town;

The site visit includes a tour of the reconstructed fort, tavern/courthouse, jail, authentic Conestoga wagon; hands-on activities demonstrate 18th century amusements and trades;

Post-visit activities reinforce the facts and concepts discussed in other portions of the program.

Please note: You may opt to contract for other reenactor /historic craft demonstrators for an additional fee with 8 weeks advance notice. Costs will vary depending on the activities.

What are the Hands-On Activities

You may select activities from two categories: Demonstration and Take Home. Groups of 20-40 students may select one activity from each category; groups of 40-60 students may select two Demonstration activities and one Take Home.


hannastown2.jpgHannas Town Toys & Games
Very few store-bought toys and games were available to children on the frontier in the 18th century. Children or adult family members often made their own amusements. Students will play with toys and engage in games that were popular with children in early America.

Historic Clothing
Do you usually wear 'stays' under your gown? Do you forget to button your knee britches? Students will learn about 18th century frontier fashion. Some students will be selected to serve as live mannequins, time permitting.

Historic Dance
Social activities were an important form of entertainment for families living in remote farms and communities. Students will learn several popular 18th dances as well as etiquette of the period.

Archaeology Much of what we know about the site is from the artifacts excavated at the site and archaeological records. Students will learn about the excavations at Historic Hanna's Town through photographs, site maps, and artifacts.

Take Home

Tin Punch
Craftsmen in Colonial America used tin punch to decorate metal items, such as lanterns and pie safe doors to make them more attractive. Students will produce a simple tin punched panel to hang in a window.

Candle Making
People made their own candles to provide a source of artificial light before oil lamps and electricity were widely used. Students will make candles by dipping a wick in hot wax.

hannastown3.jpgWhat Do I Need to Know?

School programs are offered May through October on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

The total tour time ranges between 3 and 4 hours, depending on the type of activities scheduled.

Groups must be accompanied by a ratio of 1 adult for every 10 children.

The group rate is $5.00 per student. Teachers and chaperones (1:10) are admitted free; additional adults will pay the group rate.

Groups may opt to visit the museum shop during the lunch. You can also order a small souvenir bag for an additional $2.00.

Please schedule your program at least three weeks in advance. Middle school costs will vary depending on the activities and number of reenactors or craft demonstrators.

Scout troops are welcome to schedule programs and merit badge activities. Contact Joanna Moyar, Education Coordinator, for more information or to schedule programs.