Coeur D’Alene River

In the winter of 1845-46, Father Joset, with DeSmet’s instructions to move the mission from the St. Joe location, surveyed a variety of sites. When he chose a prominent hill location 10 miles along the river from Lake Coeur d’Alene, he noted, “there is no place of easier access both by water and by land, no place where there is less snow in the winter.” By the end of the summer, a number of living and worship structures were in place and the last families were moved to the new site. With the fields planted, the transition was complete. Ushering in a new era, the residents of this thriving Mission of the Sacred Heart community soon built a large Doric-style church here under the direction of Father Ravalli, completed in 1853. This site was utilized by the Coeur D’Alene tribe until the establishment of the tribal reservation. This site was then outside the reservation boundaries and the mission was moved to its present location near the town of DeSmet in 1877.