The Pere Marquette Shrine


One of the little known areas in Ludington is the Pere Marquette Shrine. Even though I’m in this area quite a bit, I never knew about it until my wife Darlene insisted that we visit this area. There is a rather long staircase leading up to the shrine and here is some information I found on the Internet about it.

Pere Jacques Marquette was a Jesuit Missionary and explorer who was
born at Laon, France June , 1637. He died at this site May 18, 1675.
He came as a missionary to Quebec Sept. 20, 1666, learning the Indian languages and customs. In 1668 he founded the first mission at Sault Ste. Marie. Working among and Christianizing the Indians around the Straits of Mackinac. June 17, 1673, with Louis Joliet, he discovered the upper Mississippi, then the river of mystery. They explored the Mississippi south to the mouth of the Arkansas.

Endeavoring to found a mission among the Illinois Indians, he spent the winter of 1674 and ’75 on the banks of the Chicago River.
Due to impaired health, he was returning to St. Ignace via the east shore of Lake Michigan when his condition worsened and he died at this location.

Two years later an Indian cortege came from St. Ignace, taking his remains back for burial. The shrine itself was erected in 1955 by the Pere Marquette Memorial Association and dedicated on July 23, 1955. A public park now surrounds the shrine.

To me, it was more impressive than I had first thought possible. It was well worth the time to visit it.

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