Funds sought for Hanna's Town history center
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If all goes as planned with a current fundraising appeal, ground could be broken as early as spring for a $4.3 million Westmoreland History Education Center at Historic Hanna's Town. To date, $2.1 million has been raised.
"The first week of July, an anonymous donor and county resident pledged a donation that would match other donations up to $25,000," Lisa Hays, executive director, said. "We're interested in donations of all sizes, so this should be an incentive for those reluctant to make a small donation to do so."
The center will be built on the 175-acre county park overlooking Hanna's Town, located off Route 119, north of Greensburg.
Plans call for the new facility to include a general history exhibit gallery, a multipurpose and education room, an archaeology exhibit gallery, the Calvin E. Pollins Memorial Library, the Edward H. Hahn Archives and offices for historical society staff. An archaeological study confirmed that the site was not originally part of the historic village.
"Hanna's Town features the history of the 18th century during the time of the American Revolution," Ms. Hays said. "However, we have a lot of artifacts that post-date the 18th century stored in boxes. We're doing our best to take care of them, but they're not meant to be in boxes but to be a benefit to the public and to educate them about times gone by. The new center will enable us to put these artifacts on public display."
The historical society also has a collection of about 700,000 items that include photos, diaries, ledgers and documents.
"Historic Hanna's Town is a county park, and we want it to become a historic hub for the entire county," Ms. Hays said. "A lot of other county historical societies and organizations have some wonderful artifacts but no place to display them. We'd like to partner with them after the center is completed to give the public a chance to see them.
"We'd also like to provide the context for the county's historical legacy and point visitors in the direction of other county sites where they can learn more about our rich history."
First Published July 12, 2012 12:00 am