Martin says that this beautiful crucifix rests in four fathoms of water (24′) in Little Traverse Bay, near the breakwater beacon. He pointed out this article in the Petoskey News Review about the history of Petoskey’s underwater crucifix and the annual viewing event:
The crucifix is made of white marble from Italy, and was a special order for a family in Rapson, Mich., as a memorial for a son killed in an accident on the farm.
After the structure arrived, it was discovered there had been damage to it. The family sold it as an insurance sale to a southern Michigan diving club, who wanted to place it as a memorial for their friend who died diving at Torch Lake. (ed. Charles Raymond)
The crucifix made its way to Little Traverse Bay, and was first placed by the U.S. Icebreaker Sundew 1,200 feet off the Petoskey breakwall on Aug. 12, 1962.
About 20 years later, the Michigan Skindiving Council tried to salvage what they could of the structure. It was lifted from the water, a new base was built in the Petoskey marina over the course of a day, and it was replaced in the bay.
At the time, Jessick was president of the council, and he proposed a winter viewing. The first was in 1986, affording the community the opportunity to view the statue through a hole made in the ice.
Jessick is Harbor Springs resident Dennis Jessick who helps organize the event. Sorry that I didn’t know about this in advance – I’ll try to keep an eye out next year but it doesn’t sound from the article like there’s a lot of lead time! There’s a little more in this Roadside America article about the Skin Divers Church.
More great winter pics on our Michigan Winter Wallpaper page!