Idaho January 16, 2019
The Oldest Church In Idaho Dates Back To The 1800s And You Need To See It
There sure is a lot of history that’s worth uncovering here in Idaho. If you’re the type of person that revels in coming across Idaho’s most historic structures, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to the destination featured here. Not only is this the oldest church in the entire state, but it’s the oldest building—period. Dating back to the mid-1800s, you can almost feel the history emanating from the church’s walls. Seeing this stunning structure is a must for all Idahoans so check it out!
The Cataldo Mission in Coeur d'Alene's Old Mission State Park is awe-inspiring for many reasons. Originally constructed back in 1853, it's considered not just the oldest church in Idaho, but the oldest standing structure of any kind in the state.
The church was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and visitors are welcome to stop by and see Idaho's oldest building for themselves to this very day.
Seeing the church with your own eyes is an unparalleled experience unlike anything else. First of all, the structure is absolutely exquisite. It may be well over 150 years old, but the building is absolutely stunning. They definitely don't make them like this anymore.
In fact, the building was constructed using a technique called "wattle and daub". This involved using large hand-hewn logs latticed with saplings, woven with grass, and caked with mud. The result is walls that are up to a foot thick, without a single nail in sight.
The Cataldo Mission was the combined effort of both Catholic missionaries and members of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. This specific church became the primary place of worship for the Coeur d'Alene tribe for over a decade after construction was completed.
Over time, the church acted as an important hospitality stop and supply station for traders, settlers, and miners traveling through the area. It also became a working port for boats heading up the Coeur d'Alene River during those early days.
If you visit today, you'll see that the mission complex includes the church itself, the parish house nearby (rebuilt after a fire in 1887), and two historic cemeteries. The park's visitor's center contains an interpretive exhibit about the history of the Mission, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, and the surrounding region.
Seeing Idaho's oldest church is an experience you'll never forget. From the huckleberry-stained woodwork to the newspaper wallpaper, there's a whole lot of history within these walls. Visit and see for yourself.
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Have you seen Idaho’s oldest church with your own eyes? Not only is this place full of history, but it’s downright gorgeous as well. For more destinations like this one, check out our list of
10 Famous Historical Landmarks Worth Visiting In Idaho.