Historic Hanna's Town
Established in 1773, Hanna's Town was the site of the first seat of government for Westmoreland County and hosted the first English courts west of the Allegheny Mountains, signaling settlers foothold on the Pennsylvania frontier and the push to move west. The town was an oasis for travelers, settlers, and those seeking justice and order in the often chaotic environment of the western Pennsylvania frontier.
The town and its inhabitants played a major role in the armed conflict between Pennsylvania and Virginia for control of the area now recognized as southwestern Pennsylvania.
Hanna's Town was active in various issues associated with the American Revolution. The Hanna's Town Resolves were adopted here on May 16, 1775. Before most other colonial communities took a stand against British oppression, Westmoreland County residents proclaimed their willingness to take up arms to defend their rights against Great Britain following the battles at Lexington and Concord. The Hanna's Town Resolves are one of the most direct challenges to British authority preceding the Declaration of Independence. Hanna's Town also served as a recruitment center for the county militia and Continental Army.
In one of the final battles of the Revolutionary War, Hanna's Town was attacked and burned on July 13, 1782, by a raiding party of Seneca and their British allies. The town never recovered and the county seat was moved to Greensburg in 1786.
The town 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. It remains an almost unique archaeological resource in this area.
In 1969, Westmoreland County, collaborating with the Westmoreland Historical Society, purchased the 180-acre property for the purpose of creating a historic site that would preserve and share the story of Hanna’s Town. Since then, the Westmoreland Historical Society has initiated archaeological studies, rebuilt important structures such as Hanna's Tavern and the Fort, and developed educational programs to connect the public with an important piece of Westmoreland County history.
Historic Hanna's Town consists of the reconstructed Hanna's Tavern, three re-located log houses, a reconstructed Revolutionary War era fort, and a wagon shed that houses an authentic late 18th century Conestoga wagon.
In 2019, the Westmoreland Historical Society is moving its headquarters to Historic Hanna's Town and opening the Westmoreland History Education Center. With an exhibit gallery, classroom, museum shop, and library, the Education Center invites visitors, educators, and research to discover local history and its connections to broader historical narratives.