June 16, 1912 – A number of unusually strong storms were occurring throughout central and southeastern Ohio that fateful Sunday morning. Reports of funnel clouds were being reported in Muskingum county around 6:30 in the morning. The storm moved right over Zanesville ten minutes later, just as Mass was beginning at St. Thomas Catholic Church on North 5th St. The congregation would later describe the event as a "great wind" that moved through the church. The tornado touched downed west of the church creating a damage path 300 to 500 feet wide. During the storm the spire of St. Thomas’ crashed through the roof onto the heads of the large congregation. According to the churches website three people were killed and several others were injured. The destroyed steeple was never rebuilt, as it fell, it created a massive hole in the roof and damaging the pipe organ in the balcony. If the storm were to have occurred today, it would have cause upwards of $600,000 in damage. The destruction to life and property in Zanesville that day was much greater than any other part of the state.
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