By the 1740s, French Catholic missionaries had come to this area, known to the Odawa as Waganakising, to minister to local tribes. Later, missionary work was taken up by others, including Bishop Frederic Baraga (1797-1868), who dedicated a church at this site on August 1, 1833. The present St. Ignatius Church was constructed in 1889 to replace one destroyed by fire that same year. The cemetery next to the church contains the graves of generations of area Odawa and dates to before the present church. In the 1970s, an Odawa caretaker of the cemetery placed the white wooden crosses to denote the many unmarked graves.mahn-duh-pee 1740 gee bi zhah-wunk zhin-duh, ge-we wam-ti-goo-zheek. wee be kinoo mah ga waht, goon-duh O dah wahk gee dah wuhk zhin-duh wah-guh-nuhk-sing bah-mah-pee dush chi mag-da kun-ya, Fred Baraga gah zhin kah zot gee bi zhah zhin-duh. mee dush a gah ching nuh-na guh-mik gee zhi toot. mahn-duh pee 1833. mee-go a tuk O-dah-wahk gah yah jik zhin duh gee nuh-mas-kat gee ki noo moo wahn dush wah kid waht uh nuhm ah waht. geen bo-waht mee-go zhin duh gee bi gi—danj gahz waht. ga-yah-be dush tam-gut bi-gi-danj wing zhin duh jee ge nuh-ma-guh-mik.
Plaque via Michigan History Center