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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary



    In 1830 Loretto contained a population of only seventy-one people; on the 15th of August of the current year, the resident population numbered 209 souls, all Catholics. The number of houses is fifty-nine, of which six are untenanted. There are six stores for general merchandise and one for furniture; one livery stable; one undertaking establishment, one barber shop, two blacksmith shops; and several carpenters and painters, but no butcher or shoemaker within the limits of the town. Within the limits of the parish outside the town there are three stores, as many saw-mills, one grist-mill, and some shoemakers, blacksmiths and other tradesmen, the rest of the people living on farms. The whole population of the parish, which covers an area of about seventy square miles of rough mountain territory, number 1234 souls, of whom all, with very few exceptions, are Catholics.
    Loretto is situated on a ridge, just six miles from Gallitzin to the east, Ashville to the northeast, Chest Springs to the north, and Ebensburg to the west; five miles from Cresson to the south, and eight miles from Wilmore to the southwest. It is an ideal place of residence, there being no public works in or near the town, and enjoys exceptional advantages. A public hack runs twice a day to and from Cresson, on the main line of the Pennsylvania Central railroad, and on each round trip takes and brings the mail. Just one mile west of the town is Loretto Road station on the Cambria and Clearfield Division of the Pennsylvania railroad.
    One of the wonders of the district is “the big pine tree” in the yet unbroken forest, two miles out of town, near the road to Cresson. It has four prongs, which, starting from the trunk, reach to a great height. Its age cannot be calculated.
    Three miles east of Loretto, on the road to Gallitzin, stands Sybert's, formerly Dawson's, grist-mill, which is on the site of the old John Sturm mill, the first in the county. Early in the century Father Gallitzin built a grist-mill a short

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors