Pacific Northwest - Day 7 - A long drive, Old Mission State Park

Old Mission State Park - ID Travel Blog

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The church

Our long travel progressed nicely. After the stop at the Grand Coulee Dam, and a nice lunch in the second largest city of Washington State (Spokane) we said goodbye to Washington State and made our way into the great state of Idaho. Here was our planned today's excursion. No mountains, no nature this time, but history!

Our goal was the Old Mission State Park. This state park is home of the oldest, standing structure in the State of Idaho, a wooden church. It all began in the early 19th century when the Coeur d'Alene Tribe reached out to the missionaries of the Roman Catholic Church. The church responded by sending the Belgian Father Pieter-Jan de Smet to the area.

The church
De Smet did al lot of good work. And constructed a church together with his two colleagues.

The church was subject to flooding and in 1846 it was decided to move everything to a new site in the area. In 1850 Father Antonio Ravalli took over the site and decided to construct a new church, one built in the Renaissance style of his home country. The church was built together with the Coeur d'Alene Indians and not a single nail was used to build the structure. Since there were not many materials available one had to be very resourceful. Chandeliers were made from cans, altars were made from wood and painted like they were constructed from marble. Wall decorations were made from newspapers, and wooden panels were provided with blue-ish patters using huckleberry juice. The church unfortunately burnt down in 1887, but was immediately rebuilt.

The mission served not only the Indians but also travelers.

The church
It is currently on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today the, once probably peaceful and quiet, place of the mission has change quite a bit. The big Interstate I90 is routed almost in the front yard of the mission. What not changed: travelers still stop at the mission, but now for recreational purposes. And it is very convenient if you are in a hurry. Just take the exit, drive 500 meters and ready to go. The State park has a nice Visitors Center and the area around the Mission is nice to walk around in. Apart from the mission the old Parish House is also open for a visit.

More pictures below! Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat 

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The church
The church
The church
The church
The church
The church
The church
The church
The church
The church
The parrish
The parrish
The parrish
The parrish
Old Mission State Park - ID
photo by: mdalamers