Out & About: Westmoreland Historical Society party ‘toasts’ annual home tour
The Steel House bridges a physical gap at Historic Hanna’s Town, sitting between the original log buildings and the recently constructed History Education Center. It bridges a chronological gap between the old and the new, with construction dating to 1910-12.
The Irish immigrant Steel family acquired land on the site of the Hanna’s Town settlement in present-day Hempfield in 1826, and the 2½-story gabled house was built by descendants, the Hon. John B. and Madge Steel.
This year, it was renovated and adapted for use as offices for the Westmoreland Historical Society, which stewards the historical site.
On Sept. 7, it was the site of the society’s annual Toast the Tour party, which precedes its yearly tour of historically significant area homes, set for Sept. 14.
Guests were greeted outside by WHS tour guide Levi Baum and education coordinator Pamela Curtin, climbed steps to the wide front porch, then entered the house to be greeted again by WHS Executive Director Lisa Hays and tour co-chairs Joan DeRose and Clinton Piper.
The party featured the typically sumptuous appetizer buffet from Rizzo’s Malabar Inn, drinks poured by Msgr. Bill Rathgeb and mini-tours of the house. As Hays started one tour, she pointed to the “haint blue” ceiling of the covered porch and noted that Scots and Southern traditions say the shade keeps both ghosts and insects away.
Seen: David McMunn and Dennis Bell, Phyllis Bertok and Rich Lopretto, Terry Graft and Linda Brown, Wilda Kaylor, Alice Kaylor, Mary Ross Cox, Michele Chossat, Michael Cary, Tim Kelly, Bob and Arlene Kendra, Barbara Ferrier, Dick and Barbara Flock, Jo Ellen Numerick, Jill Briercheck, Joan Stairs, Doug Evans and Greg Murman, Linda Assard, George and Linda Austin, Bruce Shirey and Joanna Moyar.
Tickets for the Sept. 14 house tour are available at 724-836-1800 or westmorelandhistory.org.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .