Home > Father Allouez Grave Site
Father Claude Allouez was the first "black robe" or priest to arrive in Niles to teach and convert the people who lived here, first coming to this area in 1863. By the time of his death, which some say occurred on the banks of the St. Joseph River, he had baptized over 10,000 people. His grave site was part of the St. Joseph Mission which was the first mission in lower Michigan, Indiana, and lower Wisconsin. The mission, established in 1684, ceased to exist in 1761 when British soldiers seized the area and deported all Catholic clergy. After many years without a priest, Pottawatomie Chief Leopold Pokagon requested that another "black robe" be sent to Bertrand. Father Stephen T. Badin arrived about 1831.
Directions: east side of Bond Street just before the boat launch.
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