Cataldo Mission Timeline

Coeur d’Alene chief Circling Raven prophesizes the coming of men in Black Robes that will help the tribe.
Indian delegations to St. Louis first come searching for missionaries.
Marcus and Narcissa Whitman start a mission on the Walla Walla River amongst the Cayuse people.
Father Pierre Jean DeSmet travels through Northern Idaho with three other Jesuit missionaries; meets with Chief Twisted Earth and promises to send Jesuit missionaries to the tribe.
Father Nicolas Point and Father Charles Huet arrive in the territory of the Coeur d’Alene Indians.
Sacred Heart Mission is established; a crude church is built along the banks of the St. Joseph River.
Andrew Seltice is converted to Catholicism.
Father Point is replaced by Father Joseph Joset, who is directed to relocate the mission to a better location due to the frequency of destructive spring flooding.
The Jesuits move their mission to a knoll overlooking the Coeur d’Alene River: signals the “golden age” of the Sacred Heart Mission.
Angry Cayuse murder the Whitmans.
Antonio Ravalli joins the Sacred Heart Mission, and the foundation cornerstone is laid for a church he designs and the converted Indians build.
The Mission building is completed; utilizing the skills of Ravalli and Brother Huybrechts, interior artwork is also created.
The mission is the site of peace-treaty negotiations between the Coeur d’Alenes and Col. George Wright to end their participation in the Northern Plateau War.
The 624 mile road connecting Fort Walla Walla, Washington to Fort Benton, Montana is completed by Captain John Mullen and subsequently accommodates tens of thousands of gold seekers who pass within a few hundred feet of the Mission grounds.
Idaho Territory is created by a Congressional act signed by President Lincoln.
Father Joseph M. Cataldo is assigned to the Coeur d’Alene Indians.
Andrew Seltice becomes chief of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.
Unbeknownst to the tribe, a 250,000 acre parcel of land near Lake Coeur d’Alene is set aside for a reservation by executive order of President Andrew Jackson.
Gold is discovered along the north forks of the Coeur d’Alene and Clearwater Rivers.
Seeking official tribal recognition by the U.S. government, the tribe learns of the reservation lands which contained neither the settlement at the Mission of the Sacred Heart nor the tribe’s primary waterways so they refused to accept this land.
New reservation boundaries are negotiated and a nearly 600,000 acre reservation that includes Lake Coeur d’Alene but excludes the Mission is created by executive order of President Ulysses S. Grant.
Chief Andrew Seltice and Father Diomedi establish a school at Ni’lukhwalqw, or Upper Hangman Creek. Named after Father DeSmet, a new mission within reservation boundaries is established from which the present day Idaho town of DeSmet evolves.
Nez Perce War causes a flight of white settlers in the area; Seltice sends the Soldiers of the Sacred Heart to protect empty homesteads until their return.
Cataldo becomes General Superior of the Rocky Mountain Missions and uses the old Mission as headquarters.
The mission settlement moves to DeSmet to be inside reservation boundaries and further away from mining roads and white encroachment.
Camp Coeur d’Alene (later renamed Fort Sherman) is created to guard and maintain Mullan Road
Andrew Pritchard’s 1881 rich gold strike along the north fork of the Coeur d’Alene River is announced.
Northern Pacific Railroad route north of the mission is completed.
Expanding an 1887 agreement, the Coeur d’Alene tribe gives up more than 180,000 acres of reservation land as well as relinquishing claim to more than 4 million acres of aboriginal territory.
Rail service through the reservation begins.
At the urging of Mission leaders, tribal lands are reduced by 184,000 acres for a payment of $650,000 in an attempt to stabilize reservation boundaries.
Railway excursions bring tourists to the Lake Coeur d’Alene area and the old Mission at Cataldo.
Father Joset dies at the age of 89, choosing to live among the Coeur d’Alene for the last decade of his life.
The old Mission property is transferred from the Jesuits to the Diocese of Boise.
The Mission building undergoes extensive restoration.
Designated a National Historic Landmark.
Old Mission State Park is created.