In August 1829, on his return from a missionary tour to Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bishop Fenwick found that the number of Catholics in the Tiffin area had increased considerably. With the people's desire for the establishment of a parish being so great, he met with Josiah Hedges, the founder of Tiffin, and purchased from him an acre of ground to be used for a Catholic Church and Cemetery.
The first burying ground was located on the southeast corner of Madison Street, at the rear of the Ursuline Convent (the site of Calvert High School) adjoining the present Hedges Park. At that time, and for many years afterwards, it was a public cemetery.
During the pastorate of Father Tschenhens, on the flyleaf of the Register of Baptisms and Marriages, we find this inscription written in Latin: "On the 6th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1837, the Church and Cemetery of Tiffin were blessed by me, the undersigned, with due authority."
With the old cemetery adjoining the first church on Madison Street having been filled, the purchase of a new cemetery became a necessity.
In 1878, Father Healy purchased from Michael Kuhn five acres of land on Greenfield Road. The purchase price was $1,500.00, which at that time was considered a high price for farm land. It was an excellent selection from the viewpoint of the character of the soil, which is sandy, and slopes north and south, making for good drainage. It was surveyed and laid out by Patrick H. Ryan in August, 1878, and has been used by the parish since that time. It is situated in Clinton Township, in Seneca County.
Due to the aforementioned cemetery lacking enough grave sites to accommodate the growing parish's needs, it was pertinent that additional land be purchased. A cemetery survey, conducted among the parishioners, revealed that they strongly favored purchasing land immediately adjacent to the present cemetery.
In 1993, Rev. Frank A. Murd, Pastor, approached Lance Osmon, owner of the property east of the cemetery, regarding the purchase of his parcels of land adjoining our cemetery. It was during this transaction that Mr. Osmon died. The court then appointed his wife, Judith Osmon, as executor of his estate. Mrs. Osmon sold St. Mary Church seven acres of land at a price of $8,500.00 per acre. Property, title, attorney fees, surveying fees, recorder fees, etc. totaled $60,545.81.
The new addition to St. Mary Cemetery was dedicated and blessed by The Most Rev. James R. Hoffman, Bishop of the Toledo Diocese, on September 24, 1995.
The new Cemetery entrance is adorned with two, four foot pillars, donated by Max and Marie Dell in memory of their loved ones, and two, six foot pillars donated by the present Italian Families in memory of their loved ones who have had membership in St. Mary Parish since the turn of the century. The Statue of Our Lady of Grace at the entrance was donated by St. Mary's Altar Rosary Society as a memorial to its deceased members.
Knights of Columbus Council 608 donated the Monument to the Unborn, located in the northeast corner of the cemetery.
Memorials and plaques which parishioners have purchased in memory of a loved one are: U.S. Flag, State of Ohio Flag and St. Mary's Flag.
Statues that grace the center of the new cemetery and purchased in memory of loved ones are: St. Anthony of Padua, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Joseph the Worker and St. Therese, the Little Flower.
Presently available for purchase as a memorial for a loved one are: Flowering Trees, A Gazebo and Cemetery Chapel.