Tuesday, March 1, 2011

     Jesuits arrived in the early 1840's scouting out the location for Cataldo Mission which was originally established on the Saint Joe River.  The original location on the Saint Joe River was subjected to flooding sparking a movement to the current location on Coeur d' Alene River.  In excess of three hundred Coeur d' Alene American Indians worked together with Jesuits contributing their labor in building Cataldo Mission.
                                           Found at: http://www.visitidaho.org/thingstodo/view-attraction.aspx?id=30626

     Cataldo Mission also referred to as Mission of the Sacred Heart or Old Mission State Park is the oldest standing building in the state of Idaho.  Coeur d' Alene American Indians worked together with Jesuit missionaries to build Cataldo Mission between 1850 and 1853.  Present day Cataldo Mission consists of the Sacred Heart Mission building and parishioners quarters located on a reserved preservation of acres.  There is also a visitors center where tourists can access a gift shop and a historical interpretive documentary.
Found at:  http://www.spokaneoutdoors.com/cataldo.htm

Coeur d’ Alene Mission encompassed approximately 200 acres, which was originally heavily utilized for agricultural production.   Architectural structures included several buildings, one church, and one “horse powered” flourmill.  The livestock on this mission totaled 20 cows, 8 yokes of oxen, 100 pigs, and more.  [1] The Coeur d’ Alene Mission was the most widely accessed and well known of the Jesuit missions in the inland Northwest.  The original Coeur d’ Alene/Cataldo mission was founded at the place of council following the colonel Steptoe conflict.  It was this location that eventually developed into the Coeur d' Alene/Cataldo mission.  John Mullan and his crew operated from this location utilizing it as a place of refuge.  This Cataldo mission was originally developed back in 1842.  It was right on St Joe River until later being relocated to the Coeur d’ Alene River.  It was due to flooding and other geographical complications that the Cataldo mission was relocated to the Coeur d’ Alene River.  [2] The Coeur d’ Alene Mission was easily accessible making it an ideal place for emigrants to seek refuge.  Steamboats could chug along the St Joe River to reach the mission directly from Coeur d’ Alene.  To this day the mission stands in Idaho as the “oldest building” in the state.  [3] In today’s modern world you can travel along interstate 90 and exit at “Old Mission State Park”.  The yearly influx of tourists is in the range of 100,000 people.  In the coming year of 2015 the Coeur d’ Alene tribe will obtain the title for “Old Mission”.  [4]
The tribe of the Coeur d’ Alene was one of the native populations who worked together with missionaries.   At the time there were approximately 300 Coeur d’ Alenes the majority of who lived at the Coeur d’ Alene mission.  The Coeur d’ Alenes who did not live directly at the mission stayed nearby on the Coeur d’ Alene and St Joseph Rivers.  Their property consisted of houses, cattle, and canoes as they worked collaboratively with missionaries to develop in a way that would help them to adjust and co-exist with the developing world.  Also these Coeur d’ Alenes appeared to maintain good relations with other tribes as they embarked on joint hunting missions, which traversed the Rocky Mountains. One of the goals of the missionaries was to develop agriculture and other production amongst American Indian tribes.  Agriculture and production were pragmatic skills for tribes, as the Coeur d’ Alene tribe collaborated with Jesuit missionaries. [5]

[1] Hubert Bancroft, History of Washington Idaho and Montana 1845-1889, Bancroft Works volume 31, San Francisco, The History Company, 1890,  #18 found at: (http://www.accessgenealogy.com/montana/montana_settlement_geology_exploration.htm )
[2] Idaho Parks and Recreation, About Cataldo Mission, Angler Guide.  found at:      
[3] Marc Entze, Glossary, Mullan Road Terms and Glossary.                     found at:
[4] Jacqueline Peterson, Sacred Encounters in the Northwest: A Persistent Dialogue, US Catholic Historian volume 12 number 4, Catholic University of American Press, 1994. Pg 39                  found at:
[5] Captain John Mullan USA, Report on the Construction of a Military Road from Fort Walla-Walla to Fort Benton, Washington (City): Government Printing Office, 1863, 49