Father Frederic Baraga (1797-1868) first landed on Beaver Island as a missionary in 1832. This church was built in 1860 and consecrated by Baraga, then Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. This church originally stood inland alongside the parish cemetery one mile to the south. To better serve the island’s population center on Paradise Bay, Holy Cross Church was cut in half, moved and reassembled at this location in 1957.After the expulsion of the Mormons in 1856, many Irish families settled on the island. To serve this community, liturgies were given in the Gaelic language until the 1890s. The inability to attract teachers to the isolated Island’s public schools led the parish to invite Dominican Sisters based in Grand Rapids to help educate children on the Island in 1899. The last Dominican Sister to teach on the Island left in 1991.
Plaque via Michigan History Center