Westmoreland County Historical Society


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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Congratulations to recipients of the 2017 Arthur St. Clair Historic Preservation Award

Flax Scutching Festival

 for preserving the process of producing linen from the flax plant and educating the public about that process

  Greensburg Art Center

for the preservation and adaptive reuse of the 1840 Todd Schoolhouse

 Michael Mance

for the preservation of the local and industrial history of Southwestern Pennsylvania through social media

The public is cordially invited to the Awards Dinner on October 18 from 6 – 8:30 PM at Rizzo’s Banquet Hall.

Tickets $85; call for reservations 724-532-1935 x215


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 Fall is a great time to visit Historic Hanna’s Town!

October 28: Fall Family Day at Historic Hanna's Town

October 28: Evening Candlelight Tours

November 2: Candlelight Open House at Historic Hanna's Town

November 11: Full Tea at Historic Hanna's Town

November 18: Three Centuries of Stimulating Beverages Three Centuries of Stimulating Beverages in America - Coffee, Tea, & Chocolate


Win an 18th-century style dinner for 8 in the tavern

at Historic Hanna’s Town!  Catered by Chef Mark’s Palate. 

December 5 at 6 PM

Raffle tickets @ $10 each may be purchased from a WCHS Board Member,

at Historic Hanna’s Town Shop, and at the WCHS office.



Oct. 1, 1940: Original 160 miles of Pennsylvania Turnpike between Irwin and Carlisle opened.

Oct. 1, 1773: Westmoreland County’s first election.

Oct. 5, 1932: President Hoover makes a campaign stop in Greensburg.

Oct. 7, 1919: Greensburg suffers its first death from the great flu epidemic.

Oct. 9, 1813: County-wide celebration and Light up night for Perry’s victory on Lake Erie.

Oct. 9, 1934: First running of Rolling Rock Steeplechase Races.

Oct. 12, 1758: British troops at Fort Ligonier successfully fend off a surprise attack by French & Indians from Fort Duquesne.

Oct. 14, 1644: William Penn was born in London.  In 1681, King Charles II of England gave him a large tract of land in North America to satisfy debts the King owed to William Penn’s father.  Most of this land became the state of Pennsylvania. William Penn died on July 30, 1718, in Ruscombe, England, having been forced back to England by financial problems. In 1984, by an Act of Congress, Ronald Reagan declared him and his second wife Hannah to be honorary citizens of the United States.

Oct. 14, 1891: Greensburg awards contract for first street lights.

Oct. 19, 1961: Fire in LaRose Shop in Greensburg results in five dead and 47 injured.

Oct. 24, 1854: Cornerstone for Westmoreland County’s fourth Courthouse was laid.

Oct. 24, 1846: St Vincent’s Archabbey and College began.

Oct. 25, 1772: Long Run Presbyterian Church holds its first service.

Oct. 25, 1945: The 110th Infantry Regiment was mustered out – World War II.

Oct. 28, 1934: WHJB is the first radio station to broadcast in Westmoreland County.

See Today in History for more information and other 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.