Arbre Croche, MI - 1831 - Harbor Springs/Cross Village/Little Traverse Bay area, Lower Peninsula
Grand River, MI - 1833 - Now called Grand Rapids
La Pointe, WI - 1835 - La Pointe is on Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands in the Superior, WI area.
L'Anse, MI - 1843 to 1853 - see pictures below
Sault Ste Marie, MI - 1853 - see pictures below
L'Anse (LAHNSS) and Assinins, MI
Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest
located on Keweenaw Bay, Hwy 41,
between L'Anse and Baraga, MI
That's me down there looking small. This statute is 60 feet tall from ground to top of his head. The cross he is holding is 7 feet high and his snowshoes are 26 feet long.
Assinins and Holy Name of Jesus Church
located a few miles up US Hwy 41 from the L'Anse Shrine
a statue of Bishop Baraga with two Ojibwa children in front of the church
My family and I visited at a pretty bad time. Mass was already underway and the old Assinins School where Baraga taught was closed. We did get to visit the Assinins Cemetery, just down the road.
Baraga is not buried there but Chief Assinins is, as well as Baraga's good friend, Father Edward Jacker. The Ojibwe chief was a convert of Baraga's and Father Jacker is said to have nursed Baraga through his final illness in Marquette. Father Jacker has ties to the St. Peter Cathedral (below) from 1866 - 1869 when he was, first, pastor and then Diocesan Administrator.
More on the Shrine of the Snoeshoe Priest at exploringthenorth.com
This is a useful site if you are heading in this direction. Check out the map of nearby waterfalls, which are all over this area.
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
and Sugar Island
In the picture above, my son reminds you not to forget to visit Sault Ste. Marie's sister city across the border in Canada. This picture was taken on the lakefront there. By the way, both Sault Ste. Maries are nicknamed "the Soo" so make sure which side of the border people are talking about. You will need a passport to cross the bridge into Canada.
Sault Ste. Marie (SOO SAINT MARIE), Michigan is a must-visit for fans of history and/or the Great Lakes. My husband is interested in ships so he LOVES coming to this area. Before checking out the Baraga sites, we enjoyed watching the ships "lock through". There is a nice park to explore and a great interpretive center, all free.
"Soo" Michigan is the oldest city in that state and the third oldest in the whole United States. St. Isaac Jogues said the first Mass in the area in 1641 and Pere Jacques Marquette, S.J., "discoverer" of the Mississippi River, actually founded the city in 1668.
Bishop Baraga lived in the city from 1853-1866. His house (below) can be visited in "History Row" on the St. Mary's River. It is just a few steps away from the Museum Ship Valley Camp so you might want to check that out if you make the trip.
(click picture to enlarge)
Baraga House has been restored on the outside. As of our visit in July of 2011 the next goal was to add some landscaping. Eventually, they hope to restore the interior as well. Currently it is empty and not open to the public.
Holy Name of Mary Pro-Cathedral
"St. Mary's" in the Michigan Soo, is the 3rd oldest Catholic parish in the U.S. although it has been rebuilt four times since its founding. The picture directly below shows it next to the Tower of History attraction on Portage Street.
St. Mary's has a room set aside as a mini-museum of items belonging to Baraga. In that room is a sign answering the question, "What exactly is a "Pro-Cathedral?"
(click picture to enlarge)
The sign also explains about the chair below, located in that museum. It is Bishop Baraga's Cathedra or Episcopal Chair, from which he presided as Bishop. He used it in the cathedral church building (the fourth on this site, built of logs in 1837) that preceeded the present church. The current church was completed in 1881.
To the left of the cathedra chair is the humble rocking chair from Baraga's home (above). You can't sit in either one of them (understandably). Sorry.
I really liked this museum. Of all his belongings on display, my favorite was the potato pot (below) in which he made his daily meals.
And I can't resist tossing in this picture of St. Mary's School behind the church. It looks like classes are held in an old theater building.
From Sault Ste. Marie, MI, take Portage Street east to its end and you will find the stop for the Sugar Island car ferry. There is a popular burger joint in this spot as well as great ship watching.
Between 1854 and 1864 Bishop Baraga built four churches on Sugar Island but only two still stand. One, Sacred Heart Church, is still in regular use. The other, Holy Angels Catholic Church, is only used occasionally. Here is a youtube link of the annual Baraga Mass that lets you see the inside of that church.
To visit, wait in line and board the car ferry. It will run you a little more than $10 per car depending on the number of riders, but that is your round trip fare. It leaves every half hour. Interestingly, the trip across the channel in the St. Mary's River only takes about one minute. There is no other way by car on to or off of the island.
I found it difficult to get information about the ferry and Sugar Island. The guy who took our money on the ferry rustled up a map for me, which was much needed. Even with that, I was thankful I asked the lady in another car waiting to load where the churches were. They aren't on the map and the map is pretty unclear about which roads are even paved.
The ferry deposited us on E. 1 1/2 Mile Road. The second right turn, S. Westshore Drive, took us a short distance to Sacred Heart Church (below).
Retracing your path to E. 1 1/2 Mile Rd., go right (east) on it, drive for a bit then follow Eastshore Drive to the left. When you come to Northshore Drive go left. This will take you to Holy Angels Catholic Church (below). If you go much further you can kiss the pavement good-bye and say "Hello, gravel!" Note that they named the road after the bishop.
I hear that there is a beautiful walkway through the woods behind the church that leads to a cemetery but I did not stumble upon that path during my visit.