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.

Life in the Glades

This school tour program is offered mid-April through the beginning of June. Life in the Glades interactively teaches students about life in the region of southwestern Pennsylvania which was known as “the Glades.” It is a hands-on program which allows students to touch, feel, smell, taste, and make crafts to take home as they learn about the early settlers in Somerset County. Students will learn the reasons the settlers came here and the different choices they had to make. The program shows students how settlers acquired food, clothing, shelter, and earned a living. Our program focuses on the early years of settlement in the area from the 1760s to the 1790s.

Students will split into three groups, and rotate around the site. The first group tours the museum and learns about textiles, the second visits the log cabin, log house, and summer kitchen, and the third group visits the barn and learns about trades. Each student will be made an apprentice for the day; they will follow the blacksmith, tinsmith, cooper, and weaver, and have an opportunity to try their hand at a few crafts. Groups participating in the “Life in the Glades” program are provided with a schedule for the day’s activities upon arrival.

Advance reservations are required. A minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 65 students may be booked at one time.

Currently funding is available for all Somerset County Schools.

Cost: $5.00 per student for groups of 10 or more.

1 complimentary adult ticket with every 10 student tickets purchased. Additional adult tickets are $5.50 each.

Availability: Monday-Friday by reservation only.

Time: Tours take approximately four to five hours. This includes the guided tour, the museum exploration, and shopping in the museum store.