Lost and Found — Hanna’s Town Museum Memorializes Revolutionary War History

A log cabin.
 

Hanna’s Town is a reconstructed Revolutionary War-era fort and a reconstructed frontier tavern and town that helps us understand what life was like on the edge of English settlement in America.

 

 

 
It originally had been established in 1768, when it was on the “frontier” of the European invasion, about five years after the end of the French and Indian War and about six years before the Revolutionary War began. That decade of relative peace marked the British / American expansion westward.
 

 

 

At its height, the town consisted of 30 log houses, 2 taverns and a palisaded wooden fort. Hanna’s Town was the site of the first seat of government for Westmoreland County and hosted the first English court between 1773 and 1787 west of the Allegheny Mountains. This meant the European settlers were there to stay. 

 

 

 
The town thrived. It was a go-to place for settlers in the western Pennsylvania frontier for news, goods and justice. 
 

 

 
 
Hanna’s Town was active in various issues associated with the American Revolution. In response to the conflicts at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, a “little Declaration of Independence” known as the “Hannastown Resolves” was adopted on May 16, 1775.
 

 

 
 
Although the British surrendered in York in 1781, ending the Revolutionary War, news traveled slowly or not at all; in 1782, the town was completely destroyed by fire by the Senecas and English. This was one of the last hostile acts of the American Revolution. 
 

 

 

 
After the fire, the town’s survivors moved on, and the county seat moved to nearby Greensburg in 1786. Soon, the land was reclaimed for farming, and for many years, the site was simply farmers fields. It was forgotten. 
 

 

 
 

In 1969, Westmoreland County and the Westmoreland Historical Society purchased the 180-acre property to create an historic site to preserve and share the story of Hanna’s Town. 

 

 

 
 
Since then, the Westmoreland Historical Society has undertaken archaeological studies, rebuilt important structures such as Hanna’s Tavern and developed educational programs to connect the public with an important piece of American Revolutionary War history. The buildings are constructed authentically, with the materials, tools and methods that would have been used in the late 1700s. I was fascinated, as the many photos show, by the different hinges created by the blacksmiths.
 

 

 

 
Now, in addition to the tavern and the fort, three cabins have been reconstructed on the footprints of the original structures. Also at the village is an authentic Conestoga wagon — well worth seeing!
 

 

 
I also really enjoyed the pollinator garden established in front of the tavern — for the first time ever, I saw a hummingbird moth. The garden was literally buzzing with pollinators!
 

 

 
 
Hannas Town is a great living history museum, that helps bring the past alive. It’s an amazing story of history that was lost to… well, history. And refound and now, being recreated. 
Getting there: 809 Forbes Trail Rd, Greensburg, PA
..
Hours: May through October: Thursday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.;

 

Website: https://westmorelandhistory.org/hannas-town/

 

 

 
 

Looking for more fun things to do in the Laurel Highlands? Check out the articles below:

 

 

 


Follow the MidAtlantic DayTrips on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and LinkedIn.

 

One Reply to “Lost and Found — Hanna’s Town Museum Memorializes Revolutionary War History”

  1. How did Historic Hanna’s Town end up with a Greensburg address when it’s within walking distance of the Hannastown post office?

Comments are closed.