West Shore Banks lends PM Memorial Association funds to complete repairs.

August 30, 2019

From left: Mike Jeruzal, WSB; PM Memorial board members: Todd Reed, Gail Burkhart, Terri Lanqerak, Carlos Alvarado; Ray Biggs, WSB; Jeremy Holmes, WSB.

West Shore Banks lends PM Memorial Association funds to complete repairs.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Pere Marquette Memorial Association, with the help of West Shore Bank, is moving forward with completing its first phase campaign of raising $224,000 to complete the renovations of the historic cross. On Friday, the association announced that West Shore Bank has extended a line of credit to the organization, allowing it to finance the remaining $125,000 needed to complete the repairs. To date, the PMMA has raised $100,000.

“This will allow us to move forward with paying for the repairs and it is a generous move by West Shore Bank,” said Carlos Alvarado, president of the memorial association. “But, we are still in need of raising the remaining funds.”

Board member Todd Reed spoke about the history of Father Marquette and the significance of his death at or near the site of the cross, located along South Lakeshore Drive on the Buttersville Peninsula. He also spoke about the cross itself and how for over 100 years, a memorial dedicated to Marquette has existed in that location.

“We know the community wants to invest in this important symbol, not only to Christians but those who appreciate the historical importance of Marquette and his journeys,” Reed said.

“As the leading community bank, West Shore Bank is proud to be part of this project and provide this line of credit,” said Raymond Biggs, president/CEO of West Shore Bank. “The bank will also be making a contribution to the cross project as well. This is a special place and deserves the support of the community.”

A significant amount of work has taken place at the memorial. In 2018, the PMMA was formed after Pere Marquette Township was harassed by an organization that did not believe a governmental entity should own a cross. The organization purchased the memorial and its property and took over the renovations, which had already been planned by the township.

The base of the cross has been moved and repaired and the cross itself was removed and reconstructed. Alvarado said the repairs are now complete but the organization’s board will need to decide when the cross will be brought back to the site.

Historical Note: In 1673, Marquette and French-Candadian explorer Louis Jolliet, left St. Ignace and followed Lake Michigan to Green Bay, up the Fox River to its headwaters. They eventually entered the Mississippi River and traveled within 435 miles of the Gulf of Mexico, turning back at the mouth of the Arkansas River. They followed the Mississippi back to the Illinois River and reached what is now Chicago. In the spring of 1675 Marquette began his journey back to St. Ignace on the east side of Lake Michigan. He died of dysentery, at the age of 37, on what is now known as the Buttersville Peninsula south of modern Ludington. He was buried on the site but his remains were eventually moved to St. Ignace.

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