With the coming of the B&O Railroad to the Fairmont area in June, 1852, there was an increase in the number of Catholics in the area. Mainly of Irish descent, few, however, remained after the railroads were completed. At this time, priests from surrounding areas attended to their spiritual needs. Eventually, there was a need for a permanent church for the faithful. Thus, the first Catholic church of Fairmont was established in 1856 and dedicated in the spring of 1857 to Saint Peter, the Prince of the Apostles.
|January 1, 1873||
It continued as a mission church until 1873, when the first permanent pastor was appointed. The first recorded baptism at St. Peter's was recorded as January 1, 1873. The church and it's congregation remained virtually unchanged until 1883 but in 1897 plans were begun to erect a new church.
The cornerstone for the new church was laid
in the year 1902 with a sealed glass jar containing historical
information about the new church being placed in a space provided in the
top of the cornerstone.
South Fairmont saw the opening of another mine which attracted a number of Italians to settle in that area. To care for their spiritual needs, a mission church, St. Anthony's was erected in 1911.
In 1964 at the direction of the Bishop, Fairmont was divided into a four-parish system. This change meant that many of the old time members of St. Peter's were absorbed by the other three churches: St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, and Immaculate Conception, and was predicated by where the members lived in the new parish boundaries.
Sadly, the coal mines that were responsible for creating the faith community of St. Joseph's Parish were also responsible for its final destruction. On February 27, 1997, St. Joseph's was rendered unusable because of a cave-in under the church from an old mine.
Although their heritage and the founding of their
parishes are vastly different, the devout Catholics of St. Joseph's
Parish and Mission, and
St. Peter's Parish have united as one faith community to continue the good
works that each parish had begun.
In June of 2000, the former
Churches in Barrackville (All Saints Mission), Grant Town (St. Anthony
Rivesville (Our Lady of the Assumption Mission) were also closed
and merged into the
new St. Peter the Fisherman Parish family. The Catholic
people of each of these areas were also greatly saddened by their