Previously published in PGS-CA Bulletin (Issue #73, January 2005)
Translated from lapszewyzne.com
by Helen C. Bienick
Mszana Dolna (Lower), a small town in the county of Limanowa, lies 511 meters above sea level. It is situated on the right bank of the stream called Słomka, and on the left bank of the stream Porębka. Both these streams empty into the Mszana/Mszanka River, which eventually joins the Raba River on its right bank. A brick road which runs from Tymbark to Skomielno Biała cuts through the town. Just below the town, there was a wooden bridge over the Mszana River. The terrain is very hilly and surrounded by forests of spruce trees. The highest hills are to the north, the main one being Mt. Lubogoszcz, with an elevation of 967 meters. Be¬sides the brick road, there was also a country road running from Myślenic to Mszana from Lubon, along the Raba River. Due to the absence of bridges, during flooding, the road was impassable.
Beyond the bridge on the Mszana river, in a much lower elevation, was a nest of buildings set in a quadrangle, which were once part of a large folwark (farmstead). The road leading to them was lined with Italian poplar trees. These buildings once housed the offices for the sheriff, the court, and the management offices of the farmsteads. Next to these buildings was a small saw mill. Here branches cut from the tree tops were processed and used in the making of wooden crates. A much larger commercial saw mill was located in the forest proper.
The town had a Roman Catholic Church, a post office, and after 1883 a court house. There was also a pharmacy, a few food markets, and a tobacco shop. The public school had 2 teachers, and the local lending bank had a capital of 410 zlotys. In 1593, Gabriel Nobrzyna Rzuchowski established a fund of 300 złotys to aid the poor. Market days were held on Tuesdays. In 1881, there were 1800 inhabitants, plus the 100 people who lived and worked on the large folwark. In total, there were about 1607 Catholics and 217 Jews.
The parish and the wooden church were established by the Pieniąż family in 1445. Affiliated churches were located in Niedźwiedz, Poręba Wielka, Olszówka and Mszana Górna (Upper). The first of these affiliates was built in 1605, the second in 1744. The affiliate church in Mszana Gorna was totally supported by the diocese, but was suppressed in 1813. The church in Mszana Dolna belonged to the deanery of Tymbark, diocese of Tarnów, and served Mszana Górna, Słomka, Glisne, Łostowka, Łetowe and Kacinka. The total in¬habitants of these villages numbered 6933 Catholics, and 217 Jews.
The soil in this area is hard and rocky, and not conducive to cultivating. The mountain climate is very sharp and cold. The large manor and folwark were once the property of Januarius Stróżkiewicz, and later was acquired by Albin Korytowski. This estate covered 324 morgen  of farmland, 12 mr.  of meadows, 170 mr, of forests. Before the partitions of Poland, Mszana Dolna was a part of the vast holdings of the nobles in the county of Szczyrzyc, who owned the villages of Mszana Dolna with its folwark, Słomka, Glisne, and Miescisko. In 1761, it became the property of Ignacy Zboiński, the castellan** of Płock. After the third and final partition of Poland, the properties were taken over by the Austrian government, and in 1797, were sold at auction to Piotr (Peter) Wodzicki.
Mszana Dolna borders Kasina on the north, as well as Kasina Wielka. Słomka lies to the east, Marcowka is to the south, and Glisne lies on the west.
Terms Requiring Further Explanation:
- ↑  Morgen (mr.) – a measure of land approximately equal to 2.1 acres. From German Morgen, "morning," so called because it was supposed to be the amount of land a man and ox could plow in one morning; also called jutrzyna (from a Polish root meaning "dawn, morning")
- ↑  Castellan – literally “keeper of the castle”, here it means the landowner.