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Old Mission State Park, Cataldo

4.8
#6 of 19 in Historic Sites in Idaho
The Silver Valley's Old Mission State Park is a state park and National Historic Landmark in North Idaho, USA. It is also known as the Mission of the Sacred Heart or Cataldo Mission. It contains the church itself, the parish house, and the surrounding property. Built 1850-53, Mission of the Sacred Heart is the oldest standing building in Idaho.HistoryIn the early 19th century, the Coeur d'Alene Indians had heard of these powerful "medicine men" in black robes with a book and wanted some of these men for their own tribe. They sent men east to St. Louis, and in 1842 Father Pierre-Jean De Smet responded to the request and came to the area. Fr. Nicholas Point and Br. Charles Huet came and helped to pick a mission location. The first was along the St. Joe River, but was subject to flooding. In 1846 they moved it to the current location.In 1850 the church was taken over by Italian Jesuit missionary Antonio Ravalli, who began designing the new mission building. He made sure that the building was constructed by the Indians themselves, so that they could feel part of the church. It was built using the wattle and daub method, and finished some three years later without using a single nail.The mission was named after the Sacred Heart Of Jesus and the spot endearingly has been renamed the Coeur d'Alenes Old Mission State Park by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. A misnomer locally is to refer to the whole Mission as the "Cataldo" mission. This term cropped up in the area due to the fame of Father Giuseppe Cataldo, a Sicilian priest born in the village of Terrasini, who spent most of his life in the frontier community and founded Gonzaga University. The nearest town to the Mission is Cataldo, Idaho.
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Old Mission State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
54 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We have traveled by this historic site many times over the years, and finally took the time to stop and tour the buildings. The day we went to the Mission, they were working on reroofing the church. T...  more »
  • I didn’t know they closed at five and I got there at 4:45, so I just walked into the gift shop area for a minute and talked to the workers. I am least was able to see the outside of the buildings and ...  more »
  • We not only toured the oldest building in Idaho, with ceilings stained naturally, using huckleberry juice. We also watched a great video and looked at artifacts at the Visitor Center. And I hear they ...  more »
Google
  • Great history... We biked here from Harrison...great 60 mile bike ride.
  • My mom and I have been to this place a few times throughout the years. It only costs $5 per car to go to an informational documentary about the Cataldo Mission and also exploring the church and the house, as well. Definitely recommended for people who wants to learn about the history in the Pacific Northwest.
  • If you carry a tripod they will think you are a “professional” and try to charge you $100 just to shoot there. Tripods aren’t just for professionals.
  • We came a bit late, but the lady at the front desk let us check out everything anyway
  • Great history lesson! Take you back to the old days!
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Plans to Old Mission State Park by other users

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