The Westmoreland Historical Society is planning a free after-hours event to officially open the Westmoreland History Education Center at Historic Hanna’s Town. The celebration will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the center, located at 809 Forbes Trail Road, Hempfield Township.

The open house will coincide with the opening of “Gems of the Collection: Everything AND the Kitchen Sink,” a new exhibit in the Kendra Gallery. This exhibit tells stories of Westmoreland County history through a selection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and archaeological material from the Westmoreland Historical Society collection, most of which have never been exhibited before.

Since the 1950s, the Westmoreland Historical Society has actively collected and preserved important pieces of Westmoreland County history, spanning a variety of places, time periods, and stories from the past. Gems of the Collection features “gems” from history including documents, photographs, clothing, furniture, tools, glassware and archaeological material.

Visitors can also explore the Kendra Gallery and get a special look inside the recently renovated 1910 Steel Farmhouse. In addition to office spaces, the Steel Farmhouse includes the Tanto Room, which displays a historic portrait of the Steel Family, and the First Commonwealth Parlor, which features a variety of antiques dating to the early 20th century.

The Education Center provides the Historical Society the opportunity to interpret the broad history of Westmoreland County at its birthplace, Hanna’s Town, the first county seat of Westmoreland established in 1773. Through compelling changing exhibits, special events, and educational programs, the Education Center provides context for the rich and diverse stories across Westmoreland County from the Colonial period to the 21st century and illustrates the broader American story. RSVPs are requested. To reserve a spot, call 724-836-1800, ext. 210.

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