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St. Patrick's Log Cabin Church: Oldest Remaining Catholic Church West of the Alleghenies

We were beckoned to visit this place by a historical sign on a country road and found something pretty awesome, St. Patrick's Log Cabin Church. This church dates back to 1806 and was built by Irish Immigrants. Located in Sugarcreek Township, Armstrong County, it is said to be the oldest remaining catholic church building west of the Alleghenies. It is still used sporadically and is open for tours on weekends. The main parish is now located in nearby Brady's Bend, but they have maintained this cabin and even used it a few times when some of the other church buildings of the last few centuries succumbed to disasters. Two churches burned down, and one was even blown down during a windstorm. This cabin has stood steadfast for more than two centuries in the community. 
The church was built thanks to a canvassing effort to get people to contribute 25 cents towards construction of the church. The largest contribution they received was $2.00. Inflation from then to now estimates that would be equivalent to about 36-40 dollars today. This region of Armstrong County was rural then, as it remains today. Land was bountiful, but money was scarce for the construction of a church. Eventually they were able to raise enough to purchase a 200 acre farm, where the Log Church was built and a cemetary was created.
The four men that raised the money also literally raised the roof. Each person was responsible for completing one of the walls. They each assembled teams to get the job done with oak timbers, clay, and straw for the 22 foot wide, by 35 foot tall building.

Initially, services were only held once or twice a month, for the priest was responsible for all of the parishes west of the Allegheny River, up to Erie, and out to the Ohio. Parishioners would walk from distances of up to 10-15 miles to attend services in this remote region.

It is open for tours from May 1 through October 1 each year from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays. More information can be found at this link.


  1. My ancestors were among those who raised the money to build and then built this church. Casper Easley was one of the canvassers who helped raise money. He is my great great grandfather. The Denny family also helped - they are my ancestors who emigrated to Pennsylvania from County Donegal Ireland in the mid and late 1700s.

  2. My ancestors who were Rodgers for one of the original 16 families that settled and built the church. My dad his name was Regis Rogers collaborated with the Knights of Columbus and rebuilt and restored the Church to its original Glory. It is a truly historical site.

  3. I am looking to find 1824 baptism records for my great great grandfather, Paddy Bonner,
    who was taken back to Ireland (Co. Donegal)
    at age 2 by his father. His mother’s
    Identity is a mystery to my Irish
    Family. He was supposedly baptized here.


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