About the Village


A visit to the Village is FREE, and a small Village Tour Guide is available in artists studios for visitors to keep. A larger book with more detailed information is also available to visitors to use and return.

Every day promises something different. Check the calendar for events and hours of various studios and museums.

History | Alta Schrock | Village Tour | Board of Directors | Our Neighbors


History


Spruce Forest serves a unique purpose in the Allegheny region. Here in the heart of what was known as Little Crossings in the time of General Braddock, artists have developed designs, genres, and even media specific to this area. Spruce Forest is a venue not only where artists showcase and sell their work, but also where visitors have the chance to interact with artisans inside their studios. Six resident artists and many visiting artists share their stories, technical advice, and creative processes with our audience of 60,000 each year.

The artisan program is part of the Village’s larger mission to preserve the heritage of the region. Through a storytelling program in the Miller House Peace Center, our visitors experience the words and wisdom of the settlers who came here almost 200 years ago. The Amish and Mennonite communities lived peacefully with Native Americans and other settlers, developing the strong Appalachian farming tradition.

Our visitors may also experience the agricultural foundations of Little Crossings and the whole region at Stanton's Mill. Built in 1797, the Mill was modernized over the years and functioned until the mid 1990s. Recently restored, Stanton's Mill now operates much as it did in the 1800s, during the height of National Road commerce.

The Artisan Village fronts on the historic National Road, which played a large role in westward expansion and economic development of the region. Little Crossings still boasts an original inn dating back to 1818 –now Penn Alps Restaurant, the historic Casselman Bridge, and thirteen restored cabins, including Compton's One-Room School house, where schoolchildren today can experience life in a schoolhouse of yesterday.