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Brief History of Latrobe Pennsylvania

How the area around the Borough of Latrobe Pennsylvania has changed from hunter-gather, to settler, education, commerce, and industrialization.

1930's Great Depression Works Progress Administration (WPA) art program diorama

Huron 51-D1-11 Hunting Game 1974.0021.105

Pre 1750

Western Pennsylvania was an area of eastern hemlock, chestnut and oak forests teeming with game. Native Americans from the Delaware, Shawnee, Seneca, and Mingo tribes hunted and fished here. Loyalhanning, one of the leading villages of the Delaware, was located the present site of Ligonier, about eight miles east of where Latrobe is now located.


Christopher Gist crossed the Allegheny mountains around 1750 as a surveyor and was the first to give a detailed description of the areas of Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. At the outset of the French and Indian War, he accompanied the young George Washington on missions into the Ohio Country. The French and Indian War gave more white men a glimpse of the area. In 1758, British General John Forbes cleared a road through this area en-route from Philadelphia to present day Pittsburgh. His soldiers erected Dagworthy's Breastworks in the area now known as Lawson Heights, just south of Latrobe. Few people settled permanently in the area before 1769, when the Pennsylvania Land Offices were opened by the Penn proprietaries.

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Brief History of Latrobe
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