Zanesville 4: God Country

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St. Nicholas Catholic, where the wedding was celebrated, lights up nicely in the evening. 2005:08:05 20:42:37

Now where I come from, it would be considered somewhat in poor taste to use Cortez' landing in Mexico as the subject of a church's entrance mural. No doubt the painters were trying to evoke a sense of the church likewise bringing the Word to heathen lands. Since the cornerstone claims to have been laid in the late 1800s, though, they would have been just a bit late.

The Catholics aren't the only denomination to have set up shop in Zanesville. In fact, pretty much everyone appears to have set up shop here. Given the size of the downtown area, just a few blocks on a side, a truly remarkable number of churches have sprouted over the years.

On the north end of downtown, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic rises in front of Grace Methodist. Hyde Parkers will find the latter's bell tower strikingly familiar. 2005:08:05 18:01:41

Plug "Zanesville church" into the Google mapper and you get six listings for the downtown grid. I don't know how it picks them, though, since that's somewhere around one third of the total. The true number is enormous.

Zanesville was officially founded in 1797 after Ebenezer Zane cut a road through the area en route to Kentucky, when some ferrymen decided to take professional advantage of the Muskingum River (if anyone knows the correct pronounciation of that, please chime in). However, the "historical downtown" is doing more of a late-19th century small town look, albeit with a deplorable lack of ice cream and soda fountains. Lots of antiquing, though. I bought myself a slide rule.

In fact, I only found one building that plausibly looked more than about a century old.

St. James Episcopal looks to have been around for a while. That, or it's just survived whatever stood next to it burning down a few times. Across the street stands Market Street Baptist. Next door is supposedly the Melkite Catholic church, but it looked like someone's house to me. 2005:08:05 18:06:10

Walk about another block and I got back to the motel. This, I noticed, adjoins two churches as well. That's not counting the hole-in-the-wall Evangelical chapel and christian bookstore across the way.

The Travelodge where I stayed is dwarfed by mansion-like roof of Central Presbyterian. Across the street, my window faced St. John Lutheran. 2005:08:05 18:09:44

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I now live in Zanesville and attend regularly to one of the many churches you point out. Muskingum County is not hard to say once you've heard it. When your checkers opponent's piece reaches your side, you "mus' King him." Down a few and say that, and you will have it.

Actually, while St. James Episcopal Church was finished in 1843, St. Thomas Aquinas Church was finished in 1844. Guess they were having a kind of "steeplechase"!

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on August 14, 2005 3:52 PM.

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