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Old Mission State Park, Cataldo

4.8
#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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Old Mission State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
51 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • A beautiful and historic experience. So glad I was able to learn about this part of North West history. I will say as others have said that many of the buildings are clearly in need of a coat paint ju...  more »
  • I studied about Cataldo in Idaho history in the 4th grade. Some 65+ years later I finally got to see it. My wife and mother were with me.We were in awe with the construction methods! The grounds were ...  more »
  • 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 »
Google
  • 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.
  • I have driven by all my life and never stopped. Glad I did, beautiful! A lot of history here.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Alot to offer for all age groups. Friendly staff.

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