St. Marys, Pennsylvania (Images of America Series) by Dennis McGeehan
Located in Elk County atop the Allegheny Mountains, Sancta Marienstadt (St. Marys) was founded in 1842 on the feast day of Mary. Establishing St. Marys as a refuge to preserve their German Catholic roots, the hardy pioneers of the area eventually embraced a multiethnic, progressive cityscape. Early settlers farmed and developed natural resources. When the extractive industries of timber, coal, and clay were exhausted, the town could have withered away. Instead, the industrious people turned to the new technologies of carbon and powdered metal. St. Marys flourished, becoming a leader in the world in these fields, and was labeled the “Carbon City.” St. Marys recounts the success of this experiment through photographs from the St. Marys and Benzinger Township Historical Society, illustrating the many paths taken by the people of St. Marys to realize the faith of their founders.
Dennis McGeehan, a history instructor at Penn State University’s DuBois campus and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is the vice president of the St. Marys and Benzinger Township Historical Society. He has worked as a photographer and guide for the Philadelphia Foundation for Architecture.