The 11-foot crucifix was originally meant to be a monument for a 15-year-old boy who died in a farming accident in 1956. But when the cross was damaged while being shipped from Europe, his parents refused to pay for it.
The marble cross was sold at an insurance sale to a diver who had it repaired. In 1962, he secured the permits to sink the crucifix off the Petoskey breakwater, 65 feet down. The man wanted the crucifix to be a memorial to divers and others who have died in water accidents.
Over the years, the crucifix became covered by sediment. In the 1980s, it was raised and moved to a limestone rock bed.
In the winter, when Lake Michigan has frozen over, volunteers cut a hole in the ice and set up special underwater lights. Then, for one day, nearly 2,000 people walk out on the frozen lake to view the underwater crucifix.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw