Father Frederic Baraga, learning of a possible
epidemic afflicting the Indians at Grand Portage in 1846, set out in a small boat from Madeline Island in Wisconsin with an Indian guide.
An unexpected storm threatened them, but their lives were spared when they were blown over the sandbar and into the quiet mouth of the Cross River. In Thanksgiving, they erected a small wooden cross at the site which was later replaced by this granite one.
Father Baraga, born in Yugoslavia in 1797, came to the United States in 1830 and devoted his life to the Indians of the Upper Great Lakes. Consecrated a bishop of Upper Michigan in 1853, Bishop Baraga, whose life was filled with heroism and zeal for souls, died January 19, 1868, and his remains rest in the crypt of St. Peter's Cathedral in Marquette, Michigan.