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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary


Guire was among those who "took up" land on which he subsequently planted the "McGuire Settlement." His first, and for several years his only neighbors, were the settlers at Blair's Mills, more than twelve miles away, with a dense, unbroken forest between.
    Captain Michael lost no time in providing for the future spiritual needs of his family and of his settlement. Being a devout Catholic his first and greatest desire seemed to be that of firmly establishing the Church in the new location. He had taken up a large tract of land, 400 acres of which he made over to Bishop Carroll (brother of Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, the last survivor of the signers of the Declaration of Independence) for the establishment of religion and the maintenance of resident clergy. On this land now stands the brick church of St. Michael and pastoral residence; the monument of Father Gallitzin, his chapel and stone house which served as the pastoral residence until 1874; St. Francis' College, and The Children's Home, formerly St. Aloysius' Academy. On the same tract also stood the old log church (the first building dedicated to the worship of God between Lancaster, Pa., and St. Louis), erected in 1799, enlarged to double its capacity in 1808, and in 1817 replaced by a frame building 40 x 80 feet, which was used as the parish church until 1854; also the log house of Father Gallitzin, replaced in 1832 by St. Mary's Chapel and the old log barn. In 1891 the chapel was taken down and rebuilt of the same material, thus making it practically the same as before; but the barn and the frame church, entirely dilapidated by the ravages of time and the weather, were razed to the ground. The area of the church was enclosed and laid out in burial lots, the sanctuary part, where the first altar on the Alleghenies stood, being reserved for the interment of the resident clergy.
    About the year 1790, after Bishop Carroll had taken possession of the new See of Baltimore, the first erected in the United States, an effort was made to provide for the spiritual needs of "McGuire's Settlement." At least once, and probably twice, Father Brosius, who had accompanied the young Gallitzin to this country, visited the place, and upon one occa-

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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