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Community Day Trips

Take a quick detour during your visit and discover the nearby communities of Ebensburg, Loretto, and Cresson. Each of these areas feature backgrounds rooted in the history of the county and are home to a variety of restaurants, attractions, and other cool spots!

Cresson - A Train Watching Hot Spot!

CRESSON WORKERS helped to fuel the Industrial Revolution. According to Sr. Anne Frances Pulling in her book “Around Cresson and the Alleghenies”, the town of Cresson was a “hub of commerce when the Pennsylvania Railroad established headquarters here with a roundhouse, machine shops and branch lines.”

Besides railroading, Cresson industries included lumbering, coal mining, and coke yards. Laborers resided in company houses located within one mile of where high society had built mansions. The area’s natural beauty of lush greens and mountain springs served as an escape for the Pittsburgh elite. Several built residences here including J&L Steel icon, Benjamin Jones, and U.S. Steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie.

Many affluent guests, including President Abraham Lincoln, visited the elaborate Mountain House. Situated on a hillside amongst several mountain springs and private cottages, the resort accommodated 900 affluent guests who vacationed and made business decisions here. Cresson is located along the Norfolk Southern Mainline of the former Pennsylvania Railroad, making it a popular destination for railfans!

Cresson is located between Gallitzin and Cassandra, two of Cambria County’s train-watching hot spots.

Experience Small Town Hospitality in Ebensburg

EBENSBURG TRACES ITS ROOTS back to 1797, when the Rev. Reese Lloyd and a group of eleven families traveled here from Philadelphia and established a Welsh colony.

In 1804, Ebensburg was designated the seat of the newly formed County of Cambria. During the late 19th century, Ebensburg grew and prospered as word of the area’s natural springs and scenic beauty spread. Many of the wealthy from New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh constructed summer “cottages” of fifteen to twenty rooms; while others enjoyed the services provided by the Belmont, Lloyd Springs, and Mountain House. These hotels counted Andrew Carnegie, William H. Vanderbilt, and Mary Todd Lincoln as guests.

Today, Ebensburg features a charming downtown with quaint shops, eateries, and lodging. Located at the eastern end of the Ghost Town Trail, Ebensburg is the perfect place for exploring the trail and surrounding recreation and historic attractions. It also hosts popular festivals and events including Art in Bloom Spring Art Show, Wheels & Wings, PotatoFest, and Dickens of a Christmas.

Visit Prince Gallitzin’s Loretto, the First English-Speaking Catholic Settlement in the U.S. West of the Allegheny Front!

Loretto, formerly the McGuire Settlement, was named after the Shrine of the Holy House in Loreto, Italy, by Father Demetrius Gallitzin, a former Russian Prince who renounced his royal upbringing, enrolled in seminary and became the first priest to receive all his seminary studies in the United States.

Gallitzin, known as “The Apostle of the Alleghenies”, established the church and pastored the settlement in Loretto until his death in 1840. He is buried in an underground crypt with his heroic-sized statue standing atop a monument next to the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel. He is currently under consideration for sainthood.

Another famous Loretto resident was steel magnate, Charles Schwab. Born into poverty, Schwab was hired by Carnegie Steel of Pittsburgh when he was 17 and worked his way up to company president by the age of 35. Schwab contributed his financial resources significantly to the people of the Ebensburg/Loretto community financing the Carmelite Monastery and the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel.

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