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Near Somerset in Perry County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

First Catholic Church in Ohio

 
 
First Catholic Church in Ohio Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 12, 2018
1. First Catholic Church in Ohio Marker
Inscription.  St. Joseph Church, “Cradle of the Faith in Ohio.” was the first Catholic church in the state. Dominican Father Edward Fenwick, later the first bishop of Cincinnati, came from Kentucky to visit local Catholics for the first time in 1808. Led by Jacob Dittoe, six Catholic families bought this half section of land and built an 18 by 22-foot log church. Dittoe deeded the 320 acres to Fenwick, who blessed the church on December 6, 1818. Located near Zane’s Trace, the church attracted German, Irish and Alsatia Catholic settlers and became the mission center for southern and eastern Ohio. The present structure, the third on the site, was dedicated in 1843 and rebuilt in 1866 after an 1864 fire.
 
Erected 2003 by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 5-64.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list.
 
Location.
First Catholic Church in Ohio Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 12, 2018
2. First Catholic Church in Ohio Marker
39° 46.644′ N, 82° 16.547′ W. Marker is near Somerset, Ohio, in Perry County. Marker is on Ohio Route 383 1.4 miles south of Ohio Route 13, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5757 State Route 383 NE, Somerset OH 43783, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Sheridan Homestead (approx. 1.7 miles away); A Seed of Catholic Education in Ohio / The Cradle of Catholicity in Ohio (approx. 2.2 miles away); General Philip Henry Sheridan (approx. 2.3 miles away); Nellie Sheridan Wilson (approx. 2.4 miles away); Jacob Miller’s Tavern (approx. 2.4 miles away); The Sheridan Monument / 1829 Courthouse (approx. 2.4 miles away); Somerset (approx. 2½ miles away); First Lutheran Synod (approx. 2½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Somerset.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia Entry. “In a letter dated Feb. 1, 1808, Jacob Dittoe informed Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore (the only Catholic Bishop in the United States at that time) of the locals’ needs for the Sacraments, and asked if a Catholic lawyer could validate marriages in the absence of a priest. Apparently, this letter moved the bishop to act. He sent Dominican priest, Father Edward Fenwick from Kentucky to find Dittoe and serve the religious needs of his community. Fenwick traveled from Kentucky to Ohio along Zane’s Trace, and learned of Dittoe”s whereabouts when he reached New
St. Joseph Catholic Church, Somerset, Ohio image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 12, 2018
3. St. Joseph Catholic Church, Somerset, Ohio
Lancaster. Lost on the poorly marked road, Fenwick followed sound of an ax cracking through the wilderness to reach the home of Jacob and Catherine Dittoe in September 1808.” (Submitted on August 25, 2018.) 
 
Nave View from the Loft , Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Somerset Ohio image. Click for full size.
By Nheyob via Wikipedia Commons, March 21, 2015
4. Nave View from the Loft , Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Somerset Ohio
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 92 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 25, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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