Coeur d' Alene's Old Mission by AnnDixon
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Coeur d’ Alene’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. Mission of the Sacred Heart is also the oldest standing building in Idaho.

In 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 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 was finished some three years later, without using a single nail.
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.
In 1961 it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 1966 was put on the National Register of Historic Places.

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mission, museum, indians, church, idaho, usa

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