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Washington County Historical Society*

Category of Service: Arts & Humanities


The Washington County Historical Society ("WCHS") is a center for preservation, research, and education that inspires the discovery and sharing of Washington County's remarkable history. Central to this mission is WCHS's administration of the historic Dr. Francis Julius LeMoyne House, an enduring beacon of freedom and social reform, for the benefit of the public.

Programs and Services

  • WCHS was officially incorporated in 1901, becoming the first historical society in Washington County, but its roots extend back to 1868 when Boyd Crumrine began collecting and researching for his book History of Washington County, Pennsylvania: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. WCHS is the official Historical Society for Washington County as recognized by the Pennsylvania Humanities and Museum Commission.
  • WCHS engages with an audience of thousands each year through public tours, displays, events, research assistance, and educational/outreach programming. Covering broad demographics from school-age children to seniors, this audience is now beginning to expand (in terms of numbers and geographical reach) with WCHS’s implementation of a virtual programming initiative.
  • The signature cultural asset of WCHS is the historic home of Dr. Francis Julius LeMoyne at 49 East Maiden Street, in Washington, Pennsylvania (the “LeMoyne House”). The LeMoyne House, a National Historic Landmark, was well known to anti-slavery activists and freedom seekers due to Dr. LeMoyne's public involvement in the Abolitionist Movement and his private participation in the Underground Railroad network. The National Park Service states (at https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/states.htm ) that the LeMoyne House is one of six NPS-recognized Underground Railroad sites in Pennsylvania – it is the only one of these six sites located west of the Allegheny Mountains. The significance of the LeMoyne House was further highlighted in a 2017 article in the New York Times, entitled “Pittsburgh’s Underground Railroad, Preserved and Not,” which cited the LeMoyne House as one of the few Underground Railroad sites in Southwestern Pennsylvania still in existence (see https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/travel/pittsburgh-pennsylvania-underground-railroad-slavery.html ). In 2009, the LeMoyne House became a site on the NPS's National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Today, the LeMoyne House is preserved by WCHS as a museum open to the public, and it also currently holds WCHS's extensive historical records and artifacts collections, which are of great interest to the public and invaluable to historical researchers. WCHS’s administrative office is also currently located in the LeMoyne House.
  • WCHS's collections relate to the history of Washington County and Southwestern Pennsylvania, and include topics such as the region’s early settlement, the Whiskey Rebellion, the National Road, the Abolitionist Movement, and the Underground Railroad. WCHS also seeks to preserve Washington County's rich African American heritage with the recently commissioned Waller-McDonald Collection of African American History. Further, WCHS curates an outstanding Military Heritage Collection that is one of the best of its kind among county-based organizations in our region.
  • WCHS not only strives to inform its audience about the past, but also seeks to draw thematic parallels to the present. Accordingly, WCHS’s programming not only provides its audience a history lesson, but also serves as a vital interpretive lens for modern-day events and issues.

Primary Revenue Sources

Individual Donors, Foundations, Programming Revenue, and Grants (State, County, & Misc Grant Giving Organizations)

Primary Fundraising Event

Washington County Hall of Fame Awards Banquet

2022 Financials

Federal Tax ID25-1371578
Net Assets$586,744.00


Name:Clay Kilgore
Title:Executive Director
Web Site:www.wchspa.org
Address:49 E. Maiden St.
Washington, PA, 15301

*This charity submitted audited financial statements.

This website contains an organizational snapshot, as well as links and contact information, for each of our participating charities. We have also included the tax identification number for each charity so donors wishing to review more detailed financial and governance information may access the Form 990 for that charity via charitynavigator.org.

Philanthropy Sponsors

Additional projects of Washington County Community Foundation, Inc.