Founded by Bishop Frederic Baraga in 1856, Bishop Baraga
Catholic School has provided the Cheboygan area with a
quality Catholic education for over 150 years.
In 1856, Bishop Frederic Baraga hired the school's first
teacher, Mr. Nicholas Murray. Bishop Baraga's diary entry
notes, “Arrived in 'Cheboigan'; the teacher is very good
and satisfied. For $30 I bought the school house, for
which previously I had to pay $15 annual rent.”
By 1860, a new school house had been built and 23
students were enrolled. In 1876, Fr. John VanGennip
became Pastor at St. Mary's Parish and in 1881 erected
a school building using his own funds. In the fall of that
year, the new school (named St. Mary's) opened with 150
students under the direction of the Sisters of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary.
In 1884 tragedy struck. A bolt of lightning struck the school
house and it was destroyed by fire. Seemingly undaunted,
the pastor and parishioners erected a new school. For over
110 years, that building housed the Bishop Baraga Catholic
School until the construction of our new facility in 2005.
Bishop Frederic Baraga