Situated on the Kiskiminetas River, the Armstrong County
community of Leechburg looks across the river into
Westmoreland County. What originally put the town on the map
was the Pennsylvania Canal, one of the great projects of the
1820ís. The portion of the canal from the Allegheny River
through Leechburg to Blairsville opened in 1829. Later, the
Pennsylvania Railroad ran its freight line downstream to
Freeport and on down to Pittsburgh. The canal and railroad
were the economic generators that pushed the growth of
Leechburg and brought Episcopalians into the area.
Fr. John Henry Hopkins, rector of Trinity, Pittsburgh, came
into the area around 1827 to celebrate the Eucharist at the
house of Addison Leech, whose family gave the community its
name. Leechís father, David, founder of Leechburg, was a
contractor for the canal and dam across the river. He also
built and operated canal boats.
The original deed
was signed by Addison Leech (son of David Leech) dated 19th
August 1887. In 1887, the cornerstone was laid, and the
church opened December 26, 1889.
Sunday January 3rd 1904 shortly after 7:00am, an
overheated flue led to a fire that gutted the frame
structure. Thomas Lloyd led the parish in laying the
cornerstone for a new church on the old foundation at 2:00
November 14, 1904.
First worship in the rebuilt church took place in June 22,
1905, and Bishop Whitehead consecrated the debt-free church
on November 5, 1913 at 7:30pm. The rectory (The Old
Parsonage) next door to the church, built in 1914, was first
occupied by the Rev Edwin J. Norris family.
The downstairs rooms of the rectory (now the
Old Parsonage B
& B) were used for
Sunday classes. The post world War II era found the
Leechburg area with a population of 10,000. Principal
employment was in steel, coal and nuclear materials.
For more history on
Leechburg Area Museum and
The Official LAMHS Website.
The Old Parsonage B&B/church are
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