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Petoskey, Michigan: Underwater Crucifix of Gerald Schapinski

Schapinski accidentally shot himself in 1962. His tombstone crucifix -- 11 feet tall -- broke, was bought by a scuba club as a marine memorial, and submerged just offshore in Lake Michigan. Visible to landlubbers only one day a year, when a hole is cut in the ice.

101 E. Lake St., Petoskey, MI
Park at the Petoskey City Marina, and walk out onto the ice near the clock tower at Bayfront Park.
One day only, in early March. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Skin Diver Church.

Skin Divers' Church

A hole is chopped in the ice each year for one day at the beginning of March to allow Skin Diver Church pilgrims a view the submerged sanctuary. A white-marble crucifix was set up 65 feet down in Little Traverse Bay Aug. 12, 1962, by a local divers club, to honor diver Charles Raymond, who drowned in Torch Lake.

In 1985 the Michigan Skin Diving Council moved the crucifix to a more public 22 feet of water. The memorial now remembers all who lost their lives beneath the waves, in bodies of water everywhere.

[Cheryl, 03/17/2008]

During non-frozen months, adventurous visitors can take a boat out to a buoy floating above the crucifix, east of Petoskey Marina, and try to peer down.

Skin Diver's Church

Skin Diver's Church (I believe that's what it's called) . It is a small shrine on the bottom of Little Traverse Bay...but I don't know how many have actually seen it.

[Jodie Walker, 07/30/2000]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Mysterious Moving TombstoneMysterious Moving Tombstone, Petoskey, MI - < 1 mi.
Archangel GrottoArchangel Grotto, Petoskey, MI - 8 mi.
Legs Inn - Upside-down Stove LegsLegs Inn - Upside-down Stove Legs, Cross Village, MI - 19 mi.
In the region:
Halfway Between Equator and North Pole, Gaylord, MI - 28 mi.

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