Frederic Baraga was born in Slovenia in 1797. He came to the United States in 1823 as a missionary
priest. In 1835 he began working with the Ojibwe at La Pointe, and for the next 17 years ministered
to the native people across the Upper Peninsula. During the long winters in the Upper Peninsula,
Baraga used snowshoes to travel between the Indian missions, and became known as “the snowshoe
In 1853 Baraga was consecrated Bishop of Upper Michigan and its adjacent islands, with the Sault
designated as the headquarters. This house was purchased for Baraga in 1864. He affectionately
referred to it as his palace. He resided there until 1866, when the headquarters of the diocese was
moved to Marquette, Michigan.
Following Baraga’s departure from the Sault, the building was used as a Catholic school and later as
a residence for church and school employees. For a time it housed a museum. It was moved to its
present location in 1986 and opened to the public in 2014.
Visit Other Historic Homes on Water Street:
John Johnston House
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft House
Kemp Coal Dock Office and Industrial Museum
Rates for the Historic Homes can be found at this link.