125 Lewis Drive
Somerset, PA 15501
Phone: (814) 445-8788
Fax: (814) 445-9245
Arts & Museums
Housed in an authentically restored stagecoach stop that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Compass Inn Museum offers informative and entertaining one and a half hour tours of period furnished rooms, which include the common room, serving kitchen, four bedrooms and three reconstructed outbuildings: a cookhouse, blacksmith shop and a barn. The Compass Inn Museum is open daily from May through October.
"Dedicated to making its programs and activities accessible to the people of the southwestern area of central Pennsylvania," the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art "exists to preserve, exhibit and advance American art." Modeled on an authentic log cabin design that reflects the historic community, the Ligonier Valley facility features the Walter Carlyle Shaw Paperweight Collection, which is on permanent display in a custom installation that frames the exhibition gallery.
Come to Fort Ligonier and step into a time warp that takes you back a couple of centuries to the days when King George II reigned over England. Modeled on the original, this life-sized replica, situated on the top of a hill in the Laurel Highlands, is one of the most magnificent in the United States. Bring the family along to relive the days of old. Artifacts relating to George Washington and General John Forbes are featured here, as well as memorabilia from the country's early warring days. A short video kicks off a very comprehensive tour, which takes visitors through the awesome site. Stroll through an array of paintings at the site's museum, or attend one of the special activities held on certain days. Stop at the store on your way out, to take home a piece of history.
Western Pennsylvania's Rural Heritage Museum, the Somerset Historical Center is a regional museum that offers exhibits that relate to the development of southwestern Pennsylvania from the end of the 17th century to the 20th century. Topics include the effect of the Industrial Revolution on area rural farmsteads and early settlers' soil-exploitive agricultural practices. A mail buggy, restored general store, Walter's Mill Bridge, the Adam Miller Farmstead log barn, smokehouse and log house, a maple sugar camp, drop reaper, and more can be seen. The Historical Center also serves as the headquarters of the Historical & Genealogical Society of Somerset County.
An interactive museum found in Windber, which was "created overnight by the Berwind-White Coal Mining Company," the Windber Coal Heritage Center is dedicated to the history of this authentic company town and telling the story of the everyday lives of miners and their families. Authentic vintage mining costumes, tools, a fiberoptic map illustrating 21 square miles of mines, the Windber city grid, the settlements of ethnic populations and the more 31 local churches and other organizations, and more can be seen. The Quecreek Mine Rescue exhibit tells the dramatic story of the nine miners who were trapped 248 feet underground in July 2002, and rescued three days later. The Center operates on a limited schedule.
Community Arts Center of Cambria County helps "to support, promote, strengthen, and nurture the creative, performing and visual arts through education programs, exhibits, scholarships and special events."
Housed in the former Cambria Library, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Johnstown Flood Museum helps tell the story of the horrific event on May 31, 1889, in which 2,209 people died. The first floor of the Johnstown Flood Museum features a variety of exhibits and artifacts that include a fiberoptic map illustrating the path of the flood, photographs and artifacts from the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club on Lake Conemaugh, media reports, and such recovery items as morgue books, a doctor's kit and Red Cross supplies. A 26-minute film that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject is shown every hour in a specially-designed theater.
Housed in the former Germania Brewery, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association-operated Frank & Sylvia Pasquerilla Heritage Discovery Center's main exhibit is America: Through Immigrant Eyes. It "focuses on the immigrants who arrived between 1880 through 1914, and the ethnic neighborhoods in which they settled," especially in Johnstown, using interactive media. The second floor gallery is devoted to temporary exhibits. This space can also be rented for private parties, wedding receptions, dinners or any kind of special event.
Occupied by three generations of a steel-working family, from the 1860s to 1990s, the Wagner-Ritter House and Garden tells "the story of a modest, working-class family who spent their lives in "the shadow of the mills" in Johnstown's Cambria City" with the help of tax documents, census information and other public records. Topics covered in the main exhibit, "The World of the Wagners," include housework, gardening, 19th-century childhood and the material culture. Such outbuildings as a barn, privy and a bake oven shelter and a German raised-bed garden in the backyard have been recreated based on historic and archeological evidence.