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Old Mission State Park, Cataldo

4.7
#4 of 9 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 Duet 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 is named after Giuseppe Cataldo, a Sicilian priest born in the village of Terrasini, who spent most of his life in the frontier community.In time the mission became an important stop for traders, settlers, and miners taking on the role as a hospitality and supply station. It was also a working port for boats heading up the Coeur d'Alene River.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
49 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 8, 2017
    We went into the Visitor Center first and were looking forward to seeing the Old Mission up on the hill in all its glory. Frankly, the exhibits and photos in the Visitor Center (including the one on T...  more »
  • July 31, 2017
    This is an extremely interesting place. The mission church is the oldest building in Idaho, and speaks in a particularly direct way to the early contact between Native Americans and Europeans (in this...  more »
  • July 31, 2017
    I last visited this grand old building when just 8 years old and now I revisited again with my family of 4. We loved walking through the buildings and imagining what this place was like back in the ol...  more »
Google
  • June 22, 2017
    Very interesting to learn about the history of the area. The buildings are beautifully‚Äč restored and the museum is good. And nice grounds to have a picnic.
  • July 6, 2017
    I have driven by all my life and never stopped. Glad I did, beautiful! A lot of history here.
  • May 30, 2017
    Neat historical building. The 20 minute full was quite informative. Gift shop didn't have a lot of unique things related to the mission though
  • May 14, 2017
    Beautiful site featuring Idaho's oldest building, a Roman Catholic church built by hand by the Coeur d'Alene Indians and the Jesuits. You can go into the church and see the hand carved altars, hand painted wall paper, chandeliers made out of tin cans, etc. Also has a museum with a short film and artifacts plus a gift shop.
  • July 7, 2017
    Alot to offer for all age groups. Friendly staff.

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