Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Westmoreland County Historical Society

  • Greensburg, PA
  • www.westmorelandhistory.org

Mission Statement

The Westmoreland County Historical Society, founded in 1908, is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to acquiring and managing resources related to the history of Westmoreland County and using these resources to encourage a diverse audience to make connections to the past, develop an understanding of the present, and provide direction for the future. The Westmoreland County Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission recognize WCHS as the official county historical society. The Westmoreland County Historical Society is dedicated to advancing its mission by forming collaborations and partnerships with other public and private organizations that share the Society's philosophy and mission. We promote interest and knowledge of our area's past and cultural heritage in order to instill in our county's citizens a sense of pride which may act as a foundation for future success.

Main Programs

  1. Historic Hanna's Town
  2. Calvin A. Pollins Library
  3. Westmoreland History magazine
  4. Adult & Family Educational Programs
  5. Arthur St. Clair Historic Preservation Award
Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

ruling year

1972

Principal Officer since 2005

Self-reported

Ms. Lisa C. Hays

Keywords

Self-reported

WCHS, Hanna's Town, Hannastown, genealogy research, Westmoreland History

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EIN

25-1202956

 Number

3378116385

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Management & Technical Assistance (A02)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Westmoreland County Historical Society pursues its mission by Maintaining a 5,000+ volume non-circulating research library of genealogical and local, county, and regional materials.Providing research services related to genealogy and county history.Publishing a tri-annual journalWestmoreland Historyand other occasional publications.Managing Historic Hanna's Town, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This has been done in partnership with Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation since 1969.Conducting programs at Historic Hanna's Town.Maintaining Historic Hanna's Town's archaeological collection of over 1 million artifacts.Documenting and managing a 700,000 item archives collection.Managing a curatorial collection.Providing educational materials via outreach to schools and teachers.Conducting adult, children, and family educational programs on a broad range of historical topics.Administering Westmoreland Heritage, a county-wide partnership of heritage sites, educational institutions, and tourism-based businesses whose mission is to promote heritage and cultural tourism in Westmoreland County. New Accomplishment: Within the past year, the WCHS assumed administration of Westmoreland Heritage, a partnership of heritage sites, individuals, and businesses interested in enhancing tourism. This provides a full-time marketing position to promote all the heritage sites and events in Westmoreland County to audiences within and outside the county. Goals for coming year: To secure funding to hire a full time collections manager. To break ground for the Westmoreland History Education Center.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Historic Hanna's Town

Founded along the Forbes Rd in 1769, Hanna's Town served as the first county seat of Westmoreland and site of the first English court west of the Allegheny Mountains. In May 1775, residents of the county adopted the Hanna's Town Resolves proclaiming their willingness to fight to protect their rights against British oppression. The town was attacked and destroyed on July 13, 1782 by Native Americans and their English allies. Since 1969, the WCHS has partnered with Westmoreland County Parks to maintain Historic Hanna's Town and interpret its history. Programs use local events to illustrate issues of our nation's founding: causes of the American Revolution, the often contrary relations between colonies, concern of Native Americans with white settlement, justice and the Bill of Rights, and social life and living standards in 18th century America. Programs include: guided tours, school field trips, colonial camp, colonial court reenactments, encampments, and demonstrations.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$56,775.00

Program 2

Calvin A. Pollins Library

The Calvin A. Pollins Library contains over 6,000 books and paper collections of genealogical resources and local, community, and regional history. The Library is open year-round, 32 hours a week, and is visited by county residents and researchers from across the United States and other countries. A staff person or trained volunteer is available to help visitors find material pertinent to their research. Research services are available on a contract basis. Programs are offered each year to help people with their genealogical research. The Library includes materials such as: family histories; family correspondence files; cemetery records; tax records; census; vital statistics; military records; wills and letters of administration data; church records and histories; community, county, and state histories; Colonial Records; Pennsylvania Archives; vertical files; and many books on various historical subjects.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$37,001.00

Program 3

Westmoreland History magazine

Westmoreland History is a magazine published three times a year and styled to be readable and accessible for a broad audience. Each issue has feature articles, many photographs, and recurring departments such as ""First Person,"" ""In Brief,"" ""Discover Westmoreland,"" ""In Review,"" ""A Second Look,"" and ""Did You Know?."" It is mailed to all WCHS members, as a benefit of membership, and also to public and private schools in Westmoreland County. It is sold at several retail outlets including Barnes and Noble and community libraries and newsstands. Articles include all aspects of Westmoreland County's history, from pre-European settlement through the latter part of the 20th century, and from all geographic regions within the historic boundaries of the county. Articles, some solicited from the public and others assigned to established writers by the editor, contain well researched and documented material that helps the reader to better understand Westmoreland County's history.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$20,594.00

Program 4

Adult & Family Educational Programs

Adult & Family Educational Programs are offered throughout the year on a broad range of historical topics. Programs are chosen and developed by a committee that works in consultation with the staff. The input of a broad range of people give breadth to the topics addressed. Some recent presentations: Iron Furnaces of Westmoreland CountyWhiskey, Music and Magic: Another View of the Scots-IrishCommunications & Wampum in Native American CultureOvercoming the Stumbling Blocks to Genealogical Research 18th Century Land Records in Southwestern PAThe King's Orchard (Gardens at Fort Pitt) Motor coach trip to GettysburgDrums of Native SistersJohn Sinclair Forbes Trail Hike: Fort Dewart & BeyondSt. Clair Lecture: Andrew W. Mellon: Making Money and Giving it AwayCemetery Tours & Book signings Antique Christmas OrnamentsItalian Regional Christmas Foods and TraditionsGenealogy for BeginnersThe Horseshoe Curve: Sabotage and Subversion During WWII

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$34,729.00

Program 5

Arthur St. Clair Historic Preservation Award

This award is presented annually to those individuals, organizations, businesses or educational institutions that have made a significant and sustainable contribution to the preservation of our historic places, documents, records or stories, and by doing so, are keeping alive Westmoreland County's rich history and heritage for future generations. This is the WCHS's effort to recognize and encourage the work of others in history education and preservation. Many people labor, largely unheralded, because they are passionate about a particular aspect of history - often community based. That makes them specialists, and their expertise provides depth to the story of Westmoreland County and enables the preservation of local structures and stories that might otherwise be unnoticed. This awards program started in 2000 and has grown to become the WCHS's signature event. The appreciation of the award has also grown as evidenced by the many nominations received each year.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$4,301.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Funding Needs

We need a full time collections manager to provide proper care and cataloguing of our growing collections. The Westmoreland County Historical Society needs space to host exhibits not related to the colonial period. A capital drive to build a History Education Center at Hanna's Town is underway to address this need. We need a place to centralize the artifacts from the archaeological digs at Historic Hanna's Town and make them available for scholarly research and interpretation. They are currently located in several places throughout the county that are not very accessible. A capital drive to build a History Education Center at Hanna's Town is underway to address this need. We need $8,250 in advertising revenue or underwriting to support our magazine Westmoreland History. The articles provide a permanent record of our history, and the publication is a very popular benefit of membership. Although the staff and volunteer time to develop content and supervise the proofreading task is manageable within our operating budget, advertising revenue would defray the cost of layout design and printing.

Accreditations

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

WESTMORELAND COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Westmoreland County Historical Society

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Ms. Lisa C. Hays

BIO

Lisa C. Hays has been employed in the history education and preservation field since 1992 and has volunteered time at historic sites since she was in high school. Prior to her position at WCHS, she was the executive director of the Ligonier Valley Historical Society for six years. Strong written and verbal communication skills, comfort with financial and accounting issues, and an ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in others and structure their work accordingly are among the attributes that make her an effective administrator. Hays deals with people and issues respectfully and in a straightforward manner, so a strong sense of loyalty and camaraderie are instilled among staff, volunteers, and members. She has a B.S. degree in Agriculture from West Virginia University with courses in business and accounting. She completed the requirements for teacher certification in secondary education from Saint Vincent College.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The WCHS staff and volunteers work together congenially because we believe in our mission of history preservation and education. Each staff member brings a dedication to our mission, a good work ethic, and a commitment to providing a high standard of service to the public. Our small staff is able to manage a wide variety of collections and programs because of the assistance of many volunteers. While some are vital to our programming, many others help to implement the special events that raise funds to support our operations, so the staff can focus on our mission. This dedicated staff and volunteer corps has enabled us to maintain our programs and even expand some of them despite reductions in support from state and local government sources as all levels of government tighten their budgetary belts. Our work is important. We believe that an understanding of our history and learning its lessons make people better decision makers and enhance the quality of life. Society is ill served when its citizens are ignorant of how we came to be the people and communities that we are."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Robert Myers

Retired Public Official

Term: Jan 2012 - Dec 2012

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?