St. Mary’s Cemetery

St Marys cemetery LR.jpg

Location: County Hwy. M just west of Correctional Center, Fitchburg, WI

In 1856, Barney and Ann McGlynn gave two acres of land on CTH M for the consideration of $1.00 for a church, parsonage and cemetery. St. Mary’s Catholic Church was completed on the site in 1857; a parsonage and barn were also built on the property. From 1857 to 1898, most Fitchburg Irish settlers were buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

SMC plaque LR.jpgIn 1885, the congregation of St. Mary’s voted to move to Oregon from the CTH M church that they felt was too small and dilapidated. In 1886, a new and larger church was built in Oregon and the old church was dismantled. In 1898, four acres, south and adjacent to the Protestant Prairie Mound Cemetery in Oregon were purchased and became the new St. Mary’s Cemetery. Some of the bodies in the old cemetery on CTH M were moved either to this site or to Madison. By the 1960s the grounds had fallen into a dismal state and people from Holy Mother of Consolation Church in Oregon cleared the area of the brush and the remaining tombstones.

Today the site is a green field just west of the entrance drive to Oakhill Correctional Institute. In August 1998, the Fitchburg Historical Society sponsored a “rededication ceremony” and provided a plaque commemorating the site.

*The text with minor editing has been taken from the Fitchburg Landmark Preservation Commission website with permission.