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The park is handicapped accessible and includes picnic tables, grills, benches, bike racks, restrooms, fitness paths, workout stations, and playground equipment to give users a variety of options for health and wellness activities. Contact Loretto Borough at (814) 472-8995 with any questions on facility usage. In addition, interpretive signs are stationed throughout the park with local historical information, and additional signage detailing the local environment habitat is complemented by an outdoor classroom, rain gardens, and native plantings.
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Captain Michael McGuire was a Revolutionary War Hero and the founder of McGuire’s Settlement, a community that would eventually develop into the town of Loretto. Born in Frederick County, Maryland in the early part of the 18th century, Michael was the son of Michael, Sr. and Patience McGuire. The family resided in colonial Maryland, which served as a refuge for Catholics trying to escape persecution by the English Crown.
Following the end of the war, Captain Michael purchased acreage in central Pennsylvania and relocated his family, developing McGuire’s Settlement in the late 1780s. They were soon followed by relatives and friends from Maryland. With the establishment of this settlement, the McGuire family became the first permanent settlers in this region of Cambria County.
After a long and remarkable life, Captain Michael died on November 17, 1793. He was the first person interred in the settlement’s cemetery.
Funding for the project was provided in part by a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnerships Program. The park has also benefited from the generous support of several community partners including Ameriserv Financial, 1st Summit Bank Employee Foundation, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, the Allegheny Ridge Corporation, Keller Engineers, American Legion Post 748, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7377, the Saint Francis University Student Government Association, members of the McGuire family, and an anonymous donor.
Listen to the "Ballad of Captain Michael McGuire" written and performed by Michael and Aaron McGuire, direct descendants of Captain Michael:
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