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|Souvenir of Loretto Centenary|
County, where Dawson's (Sybert's) mill now stands. The rapid improvements of this part of the country are due to the efforts of these early pioneers, who struggled against obstacles of which in our day we can form but a slight idea. The word “road” is a dignified term for the path by which they held intercourse with the settlements across the mountain to the east. A rough Indian path led from the present site of Loretto and intersected the “Frankstown Road” about two miles west of the Summit. Exposed to the inclemency of an Allegheny winter—for against the rigor of such a winter their hastily constructed and poorly furnished cabins afforded but slight protection—their sufferings were almost beyond human endurance. Yet with unyielding firmness, characteristic of the pioneer race of frontiersmen, those hardy men wrested from the grasp of nature and preserved the inheritance which we now enjoy.
In the summer of 1796, Mrs. John Burgoon, a Protestant, living near “McGuire's Settlement,” was taken seriously ill, and begged so hard and repeatedly to see a Catholic priest that