Posted by: unclesamshistory | November 26, 2011

Hanna’s Town

In the 1700s Westmoreland County stretched from Bedford County to the Ohio Territory. According to the Westmoreland County Historical Society Hanna’s Town wasn’t operating until 1773. Named for the tavern owner it became the county seat of this vast chunk of land.
Hanna’s tavern became the courthouse and he was the magistrate. The Hanna’s Town courthouse and jail were the only law west of the Allegheny Mountains. I have to admit in my book Frontier at Three Rivers I took a few liberties. In the book Griswalt’s tavern and trading post was patterned after Hanna’s Town which wasn’t even in existence in 1763 when the book opens. This imaginary tavern was the focal point of the settlers in the area but it served to weave the plot into a story.
In the second half of the book, ten years later, I still used Griswalt’s as a focal point but placed Hanna’s Town as the courthouse and jail, which they were. Events in the book concerning the arrest of Hanna and the subsequent rescue of the prisoners in Staunton’s jail in Virginia are all based on actual events. The actual attack on Hanna’s didn’t happen until 1782 and I had it at Griswalt’s in 1763 with a much more satisfactory ending.
That’s why the book is classified as historical fiction.
I invite you to read more about Frontier at Three Rivers and Frontier Preacher at


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