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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stevensville in Ravalli County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Saint Mary's Mission

 
 
Saint Mary's Mission Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
1. Saint Mary's Mission Marker
Inscription. Established in 1841 by Pierre DeSmet, S.J., in response to requests for Black Robes by four separate delegations sent by Flathead and Nez Perce tribes to St. Louis. Fr. DeSmet and his party erected Montana's first church immediately west on the bank of the Bitter Root River. They planted the first garden and harvested the first wheat and oats, practiced first irrigation, bred first livestock, taught first classes and organized the first musical band. St. Mary's was the site of the first flour and lumber mills.
Fr. Ravalli, Montana's beloved priest-physician-artist-sculptor-architect, for whom this county is named, was assigned to St.Mary's during 1845-1850 and 1866 until his death in 1884. He rests in the cemetery west of the chapel.
St. Mary's ceased to be an Indian mission in 1891, when the Flathead-Salish were forced to remove to a reservation. The chapel served as a church for settlers until 1954, when a new church was built and the mission became a historic site.
 
Location. 46° 30.552′ N, 114° 5.838′ W. Marker is in Stevensville, Montana, in Ravalli County. Marker is at the intersection of Charlos Street and West 4th Street, on the left when traveling north on Charlos Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 Charlos Street, Stevensville MT 59870, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Saint Mary's Mission and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
2. Saint Mary's Mission and Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Mary's Mission Historic District (here, next to this marker); Denayer House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Porter & Buck Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Henry Buck/Stevensville Trading Co (approx. 0.2 miles away); First State Bank Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thorton Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); IOOF Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Calvin and Magdalene Cook House (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stevensville.
 
Also see . . .  History of St. Mary's Mission -- saintmarysmission.org. The history of St. Mary's Mission begins with the arrival in the Northwest of twenty-four Iroquois Indians employed as trappers by the Hudson's Bay Company. During the 1823-24 season, twelve of these Iroquois remained among the Salish (Selis) in the Red Willow (now Bitterroot) valley. They were adopted into the tribe and married the Salish women. The Iroquois came from a nation that had been introduced to Christianity some two hundred years earlier. When they gathered around the campfire in the evenings with the Salish the Iroquois talked about white men who wore long black gowns,... (Submitted on September 19, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionNative Americans
 
Saint Mary's Mission Chapel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
3. Saint Mary's Mission Chapel
Saint Mary's Mission Chapel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
4. Saint Mary's Mission Chapel
Saint Mary's Mission out-buildings image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
5. Saint Mary's Mission out-buildings
Red River Cart in barn image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
6. Red River Cart in barn
Jesuit Missionaries image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
7. Jesuit Missionaries
lead by Fr. Pierre DeSmet brought the first two-wheeled carts into what would be known, twenty-three years later, as Montana Territory. The carts carried their belongings as they were escorted by the Indians to the Bitterroot Valley in 1841. The missionaries settled on the east bank of the river and Montana's first pioneer settlement grew from there beginnings.

The Red River ox cart and barn were handcrafted by Chris Weatherly of Stevensville
Saint Mary's Mission Church, circa late-1800s image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
8. Saint Mary's Mission Church, circa late-1800s
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 17, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 19, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 19, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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