Groups, School Tours, and Programs at the Somerset Historical Center


The Somerset Historical Center educates the public about rural life in southwestern Pennsylvania from pre-history to the present. The Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County, a non-profit community-based organization, supports and assists the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission by conducting the daily operations of the site.

The Education Department has designed special programs for groups of ten or more to enhance the existing school curriculum in Pennsylvania history for the time period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. All programs can be adapted to meet the needs of individual grades and classes.

The Somerset Historical Center is open for outside guided tours April 1 – November 1.

Spring field trips are offered mid-April through June.

Onsite programs and outreach programs are offered throughout the year.

Outreach Programs

Spotza Party The presentation introduces students to the process of tapping the maple tree, gathering sugar water, boiling it into syrup, and stirring it into sug-ar. Students learn why maple sugar is only produced in a few locations in North America and see the transformation of cooked maple syrup into stirred sugar. The Somerset Historical Center will provide samples of pure Somerset County maple sugar for students to experience first-hand the natural sugar rendered from the maple tree.

The Monongahela People A program on the native people of Somerset County. Discuss the different American Indian groups and tribes that live in North America. Talk about the Monongahela people and why the culture disappeared in the 17th century. Students will discover how archeologists learn about the people who lived here based on what they left behind. Students can pass around reproduction artifacts and have an opportunity to learn about nearly every aspect of the daily life of the Monongahela through archaeological evidence.

Historic Clothing This program encourages children to think about the changes in clothing styles over time. Introduces the raw materials needed to make clothing and the processes to manufacture clothing. The textiles of rural farmers in the early years of settlement out on the Pennsylvanian Frontier are the pri-mary focus. Settlers had to rely upon themselves and available resources to meet their needs. A large amount of cloth was needed to make clothing for the entire family, they either had to make it themselves or barter with others.

Food Preservation Introduces students to the methods of acquiring, preserving, cooking, and eating foods in the early settlement period in Som-erset County. Students learn what it was like to be a pioneer, clear land, build a cabin, live in the wilderness, and plant their own food or gather things from nature. Students will also learn about how the settlers preserved food to keep it from spoiling, and how those techniques are different from what we do today.

Historic Games introduces to children what a museum is and a concept of time. This program will explain why museums are important, the dif-ferent types of museums, and the artifact kept in museums. Students will learn about life a long time ago, when people where just settling in the Somerset County Area. Students will learn about hope people a long time ago had fun, the different toys children would have played with and have an opportunity to play with reproduction toys.

Advance reservations are required.

Cost: $50 for each scheduled program, plus mileage from the Somerset Historical Center. A minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 65 students may be booked at one time.

Availability: By reservation only.

Time: Programs typically are forty-five minutes to one hour long, and offered throughout the year.



*Have an idea for a different program? Contact us to see if we can design a program that fits your needs*