Our Mission and History


Founded in 1908, the Westmoreland Historical Society is an educational organization dedicated to acquiring and managing resources related to the history of Westmoreland County and using these resources to encourage a diverse audience to make connections to the past, develop an understanding of the present, and provide direction for the future. 


The WHS Board of Directors has approved new by-laws with changes to the organizing format and clarification of the duties of some committees. Because of the format changes, it is too ponderous to note individual changes at each section, so new by-laws are recommended. These new by-laws are provided here for our members to review. They will be voted on at the 2023 Annual Meeting.

ByLaws_Board approved_ 7_12_2023

The Westmoreland County Historical Society pursues its mission by:

  • Serving as stewards to an historic site, Historic Hanna's Town, the original county seat of Westmoreland and an important settlement during the American Revolution.
  • Conducting educational local history programs for adults, families, and schools.
  • Leading guided tours and field trips at Historic Hanna’s Town.
  • Providing educational materials via outreach to schools and teachers.
  • Maintaining a 5,000 volume non-circulating library of genealogical and local, county, and regional materials.
  • Providing research services for genealogy and county history.
  • Maintaining an extensive archive and curatorial collection related to the history of Westmoreland County and the region.
  • Maintaining an archaeological collection from Hanna’s Town of over 1 million objects.
  • Supporting scholarly research efforts by historians and archaeologists.
  • Curating changing local and regional history exhibits at the Westmoreland History Education Center in partnership with local historical societies, museums, and nonprofits.
  • Publishing a tri-annual journal, Westmoreland History, and other occasional publications.
  • Presenting the annual Arthur St. Clair Historic Preservation Award to individuals, organizations, businesses or educational institutions that have made significant and sustainable contributions to the preservation of local history.

The Westmoreland Historical Society advances its mission by forming collaborations and partnerships with other public and private organizations that share the Society's philosophy and mission. We work to promote interest and knowledge of our area's past and cultural heritage in order to instill in our county's citizens a sense of pride in local history which may act as a foundation for future success. 

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission recognize the Westmoreland Historical Society as the official county historical society. We are supported in part by a grant from the Westmoreland County Commissioners.

Westmoreland Historical Society Annual Reports

2021 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report

Meet Our Staff

The Society's work is carried out by our Executive Director, Education & Interpretation Manager, Collections Manager, Library Coordinator, administrative staff, and generous volunteers.