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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary

 LORETTO CENTENARY.27

 

LOCAL HISTORICAL NOTES.

BY WILLIAM A. M'GUIRE.

    NOTE. -- The following is merely a compilation of facts and events that have a bearing on the life of Rev. D.A. Gallitzin and on the development of the territory which was the theatre of his sanctified labors. The compilation is made from Miss Brownson's Life of Rev. D.A. Gallitzin; from histories of Pennsylvania and Cambria County; from the files of the Pittsburg Catholic and local papers, and from the recollections of aged citizens. No originality whatever is claimed for the work.


1788-1799.

FIRST SETTLEMENT ON THE ALLEGHENIES.

    With the first permanent settlement in Cambria County begins the history of Catholicity on the Allegheny mountains. About one hundred and eleven years ago, and sixteen years before the county was organized, the standard of Christian civilization was first erected on these heights. Previous to the year 1788 the tract of land now included within its limits was an unbroken wilderness. The frontier of the inhabited parts of Pennsylvania was east of the Allegheny mountains. The "Frankstown Settlement," a few miles below where Hollidaysburg now stands, was the most western opening in the wilderness. Through the forests of the western slope of the mountains still prowled a remnant of the savage tribes, and wild animals had not yet learned to fear the conditions of civilization.
    But about this time began the era of territorial development. In the year 1788 Captain Michael McGuire, a hero of the Revolutionary War, brought his family from Maryland to a spot quite near the present town of Loretto, and there planted the first permanent settlement within the limits of


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