Saturday, January 25, 2014

G. Kopp rifle at The Prince Gallitzin Chapel House in Loretto PA

Several years ago my nephew was on a tour of the Prince Gallitzin Chapel House in Loretto PA:

of God Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin


Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin was born of a Russian prince of Lithuanuan
roots and a German countess in the Hauge, Netherlands on December 22,
1770.  He left his claim to nobility and came to America in 1792.
Wishing to serve God as a priest, he became a student at Saint Mary's Seminary
in Baltimore.  On March 18, 1795, Bishop John Carroll  ordained Father
Gallitzin, the first priest to receive all his orders in preparation for
priesthood in the United States of America.

He initially arrived in the
mountains of west central Pennsylvania on a sick call to the McGuire
Settlement.  He persistently sought his bishop's permission to serve as
this community's pastor.  On March 1, 1799, Bishop Carroll assigned Father
Gallitzin as resident pastor of the settlement in the mountains.  The
pioneer priest later renamed the place Loretto after the Marian shrine in Italy.

here to continue the story of Demetrius Gallitzin....

He noticed that there was an antique long rifle hanging over the living room fireplace mantel and reached across the barrier with his smart phone to snap a photo of the top of the barrel. This is where most PA long rifle makers sign their guns, and to his surprise, this rifle was indeed made by our ancestor, George Kopp.

Andrew Kopp and his son George were PA long rifle makers whose gun shop was in Geeseytown, PA, just outside of Hollidaysburg. This particular rifle is labelled to have been the property of Nicholas Stevens, whose wife Ruth was reputed to have been baptized by Father Gallitzin in Sinking Valley PA in 1812:

The rifle hangs over a striking hearth and book shelf in Prince Gallitzin's early 1800's chapel house: