In 1849, Elija Chase and his wife sold a portion of their land to the bishop with the stipulation that the Church construct a chapel on the property within one year or else the land would revert to them. By 1851 a new chapel sat on cemetery grounds, replacing the old mission.After the turn of the century, the Church realized the need for a large Catholic cemetery on Detroit’s west side.
On October 7, 1906, less than a month before reopening of the chapel, a pre-dawn fire engulfed the chapel, destroying priceless paintings, sculptures, and artifacts.
As the years passed, land was purchased and sold several times. At one time the cemetery held property south of Dix to Baubee Creek, the northern border of Woodmere Cemetery. By the early 1940s the cemetery reached its present 65-acre size.
This cemetery is not only one of Detroit’s most beautiful places, but it is also a goldmine of historical references. There’s actually a Civil War soldier, Theopolis Girard [phonetic] buried at Holy Cross in Section 4, which is off the main road and off to the right, against the fence.