Cataldo Mission

Posted by
Don (Spokane, United States) on 8 April 2010 in Architecture.

Cataldo Mission also known as Mission of the Sacred Heart is the oldest standing building in Idaho and a National Historic Landmark. It contains the church itself, the parish house, and the surrounding property.

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 Fr. Nicholas Point and Br. Charles Duet came and helped to pick a mission location. In 1850, the church was taken over by Antonio Ravalli, who 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 (see Wikipedia), 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 which runs behind the mission.