Out & About: Historic Hanna’s Town provides July 4 history lessons | TribLIVE.com
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Shirley McMarlin

Out on the western edge of the Pennsylvania frontier, tiny Hanna’s Town still played a part in the American Revolution.

Independence Day visitors to the Hempfield historical site heard about the Hanna’s Town Resolves, a 1775 declaration whereby area residents proclaimed their willingness to take drastic measures — even to the point of picking up arms — to defend their rights against tyrannical acts of the British Parliament.

The Resolves declare, in part, that those hardy frontier denizens would “immediately form ourselves into a military body, to consist of companies to be made up out of the several townships under the following association, which is declared to be the Association of Westmoreland County.”

Visitors also heard readings of the Declaration of Independence by Westmoreland Historical Society collections manager Joanna Moyar, education coordinator Pamela Curtin and tour guide Levi Baum, all dressed in their colonial finest.

Also on the July 4 schedule of free activities were tours of the site, including the tavern, a barn housing an authentic 18th-century Conestoga wagon and the new Education Center with its library, gallery and gift shop.

Children were invited to try some old-fashioned toys and games and to hear a reading of “Independence Cake: A Revolutionary Confection,” author Deborah Hopkinson’s picture book inspired by 18th-century cookbook author Amelia Simmons.

Military re-enactor Dan Balzarini’s artillery firing demonstration put an exclamation mark on the festivities. Balzarini is a member of the modern-day version of Proctor’s Militia, the defense group formed as a result of the Hanna’s Town Resolves.

Seen brushing up on their history: Caleb and Melissa Crousey with sons Kaden and Preston, Kathy Holt, Joshua and Erin Persall and family, Vincent and Rebecca Abromitis, Chris and Nora Tamm with sons Ryan and Andy, Larry and Pat Tamm, Noelle Berkey, Erin Powell, Walter S. Keller, Robert and Robin Zollinger and, visiting from Los Alamos, N.M., Shyla McFarland and daughter Cora.

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