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A warehouse on Fifth Street purchased by John Dugan in 1820 became the first Catholic church and was called "Trinity Church and oftentimes  the "brick church". All catholics attended this church until 1842 when, at that time, the German speaking catholics united and formed their own church. As the  congregation grew in the "brick church" a larger one soon became necessary and the cornerstone was laid in March 1825  for a new one. When it was dedicated in 1827 it was named St John's Roman Catholic Church. The congregation continued to rapidly increase so it was decided in 1842 that another larger church was needed. The old church was demolished . The cornerstone for the present church was laid in March 1842 on the same Fifth Street site and was renamed St Thomas.


The first Catholic cemetery was in the rear of the Fifth Street lot where the St Thomas church now stands. When the present church was built a number of the bodies were removed to a 2 acre plot on Greenwood Avenue to what we now refer to as the "old" St Thomas Cemetery. It is located just west of the Greenwood Cemetery. The cemetery, while not abandoned, is no longer being used for burials. Vandalism has destroyed some of the stones but a number of stones are still standing.  Beginning  ca 1881 burials began in the "new" cemetery which is named Mt Calvary. The cemetery is located on the west edge of Zanesville on West Main Street ca 1 mile from the Y-Bridge.


All catholics attended the fifth street catholic church until 1842 when the German speaking members separated and united to form their own church at the head of Main Street and Greenwood Avenue .It was named St Nicholas. The present church was erected in 1898.


The "old" St Nicholas Cemetery  was plotted on Wheeling Ave and burials were made there thru 1921. The cemetery has not been maintained and few legible stones remain. Even though the stones remain the bodies may have been moved. When the "new" cemetery land was purchased a number of the bodies were removed  from  Wheeling Avenue and re-interred in Mt Olive- the name chosen for the "new" burial place. Mt Olive is located on Rt 40 East at the top of the hill just beyond the Sunrise Shopping Center.

The St Thomas and St Nicholas cemetery transcriptions have been read and copied by the Muskingum County Genealogical Society and can be found in their library which is located on the second floor of the John McIntire library on Fifth Street.  Some St Thomas baptism and interment records can  be researched in  the publication  MUSKINGUM COUNTY FOOTPRINTS  which is also available.

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