Throwback Thursday: Olanta

(Provided photo)

Olanta is a small village on the Pike Township side of Little Clearfield Creek.

Like many Clearfield County communities that once housed large families of miners, farmers and laborers, it is today shrunk to a shadow of its once bustling population.

The photo, from the late 1880’s or 1890’s shows a dirt road that is now Route 453.  Homes are shown directly alongside of the road, some with cellar entrances to the ground floor.

People lived and worked in their small communities and travel, even to Curwensville, would have been a substantial trip for many of the working families.  A wagon, without a horse hitched to it, is also shown in the photo.

The building that stands out is the Olanta Evangelical Lutheran Church, dating from 1888.  It was likely built to provide a place of worship for mostly German American families in and around the village.

Its design was rather simple, but typical, for a rural church of times.  The original church building burned in 1986 and has been replaced with a smaller structure that is still serving an also smaller Lutheran congregation today.

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