St. Bernard Catholic Church
In 1861, Bishop Frederic Baraga (1797-1868) trod through snow and icy waters from Sault Ste. Marie to Alpena where he founded a Catholic church. However, it was not until 1888 that Father Patrick Murray became the first resident pastor of the church dedicated to and named for St. Bernard. Father Murray was instrumental in the building of the first church structure, which was located almost directly opposite the current edifice. The foundation of this stone structure was laid in 1880. Three years later the church split into three parishes. The French parish, which kept the original structure became St. Anne; the Polish became St. Mary; and the Irish retained the St. Bernard name and records. This structure, completed by the Irish in 1884, houses the oldest Catholic parish between Bay City and Cheboygan.