The town was settled primarily by Irish and Scotch-Irish immigrants. The tavern of the town served as the first courthouse of Westmoreland county, and being located so far west, became the primary outpost for settlers and travelers. This was the one stop shop for the colonial frontier of western Pennsylvania.
The inhabitants of Hanna's Town were Patriots through and through. Prior to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the Hanna's Town Resolves were penned and signed in May of 1775. The Resolves directly challenged British authority, and was one of the first towns to do so. This act was prior to the Declaration of Independence. Westmoreland county residents made it clear that they would take whatever actions necessary to defend their rights.
Hanna's Town became instrumental in recruiting militia for the western campaign against the British and Native American allies. Hanna's town was attacked on July 13, 1782 by The King's 8th regiment out of Fort Niagra and their Seneca allies. The settlement was burned to the ground. Most of the inhabitants did remain safe within the fort, however, every home was destroyed. This act was one of the final battles of the Revolutionary War.
After the destruction, the town collapsed and the land was farmed for 140 years.
In 1969, the property was purchased by Westmoreland County in collaboration with the Westmoreland Historical Society. The farmland preserved over a million artifacts, and has become an invaluable resource for the study of colonial life. Excavations still continue, and students are invited to observe the archaeologists at work. Reconstruction efforts of the site began and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Historic Hanna's Town is a county park and historic site interpreted by the Westmoreland Historical Society, which has its headquarters on the property.
Historic Hanna's Town is an excellent resource for education. It boasts a recreated town, frontier reenactments, antiques and collectibles market, and day camps for children that educates them on what life was like for children on the frontier. The site tour includes the reconstructed Hanna's Tavern, a reconstructed fort, jail, and authentic Conestoga wagon. Each summer, Hanna's Town hosts Frontier Court Days, where visitors can witness reenacted court cases once held at Hanna's Town.