A History Of Saint Marys, Pennsylvania: A Historic Town

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Abuse Guardian: Brian Kent, Esq. Pennsylvania Abuse Guardian

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Our local abuse lawyers in Saint Marys have sponsored this article about the history of this town. We hope that you learn something about your city.

The City of St. Marys

Saint Marys is located in Elk County, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1842 and was originally a small town where Bavarian Roman Catholics lived. The city wasn't incorporated until 1992 when the borough absorbed the area of Benzinger. In fact, Saint Marys has the second largest footprint of a city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, but has a low population.

The original Bavarian settlers named the city Marienstadt, or Mary's City. They were known for their agriculture and beer production. Both mining and lumbering eventually became a popular profession by residents. This really took off when the railroad moved in and provided a better connection to the town.


As of 2019, the city has 12,429 residents. This is up for the original population in 1860 of 692 residents, but down from 2000 when the census recorded around 14,500 people living in the city.

In the 2010 census, there were 13,070 people living in St Marys, with 5,579 households, giving the area a population density of 131.6 people pre square mile. Other population statistics from 2010 include:

  • 98.5% of the population identified as White
  • 52.8% of the population was married and living together
  • 59.5% of the population was between 18-64 years old
  • Median income was $45,802
  • 11.4% of the population was living below the poverty line

Things To Do In Saint Marys

Saint Marys is one of the few places that allows the hunting of wild elk within the city limits. There are many trout streams and state hunting lands as well as many parks for hiking. Some of the local forests include:

  • Allegheny National Forest
  • Elk STate Forest
  • Moshannon State Forest
  • Sproul State Forest
  • Susquehannock State Forest
  • Tioga State Forrest

In addition to outdoor activities, the historic town has many local landmarks. This includes Decker's Chapel, which was built in 1856. This is a one story structure with one room measuring 12x18 feet. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 and is thought to be the smallest church in the United States.

Straub Brewery is also a must-see when in the town. It was founded in 1872 by Peter Straub. It has been in continuous production of brewing since opening ans is the third oldest brewery in the United States. It is owned and operated by the 7th-generation of the Straub family.

Ready to learn more? Discover the town of Brookville, another local historic city.

Our Local Office

If you've been sexually assaulted and are in need of a Saint Marys clergy abuse lawyer, do not hesitate to call today. We offer free, confidential, consultations and our phones are available 24/7.  We will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of holding your offender accountable for their actions. Call now for more information.

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