Although its doors are open to all, I’d guess that most visitors to Mackinac Island walk past the graceful church on Main Street, east of downtown, never climbing the steps to see the interior of the building. Cathy Fields isn’t one of them.
Now a resident of Overland Park, Kansas, Cathy had just from a fall trip to the island in the Straits of Mackinac when she correctly identified last week’s Where? Wednesday photograph as Ste. Anne Catholic Church.
Cathy is a frequent visitor to Mackinac Island, located between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. In an email she says, “Would love to live there! Love it so much! I enjoy Michigan as well which is how I came across your blog—it is great. I am originally from Cleveland…so you help this misplaced person get some feelings of home.”
Cathy wins a bound calendar commemorating Grand Hotel’s 125th anniversary; it will help her plan trips to Mackinac Island through the year 2031.
The Jesuits first established the mission at the Straits of Mackinac in 1670; the name Ste. Anne dates to 1743 when a new church was built at Michilimackinac at the tip of the Lower Peninsula.
Over the years and through the turmoil of the American Revolution the determined congregation struggled to survive without a permanent priest. In 1780 the log church building was moved to Mackinac Island.
A new church, the current structure, was built in 1873-1875 and continues to serve the residents and visitors to the island all year ’round.
The church maintains a museum with religious items from the community and the parish. A popular item at the gift shop (and online) is a CD with the baptismal, marriage and death registry from 1695-1888.
Watch for the next chance to play along with Where? Wednesday!
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