Antonio Ravalli and Brother Huybrechts

The highly-educated Father Antonio Ravalli began work in 1848 on the 90’ by 40’ Mediterranean-classical church with a high cathedral ceiling, located on the hill above the Coeur d’Alene River. Ravalli’s design was constructed by converted Indians using the few tools on hand, held together with wooden pegs and plastered with a mixture of grass, straw, and mud. During the absence of Father Joset, Ravalli was in charge of the mission, during which time much of this construction took place. They were able to hold services in the building during the winter of 1849-1850. By 1853, the Mission building was completed. The artistic skills of Ravalli and Brother Huybrechts were utilized to create intricate interior artwork carved and formed out of simple materials available in the area. Wallpaper was painted newspaper, while lighting was fashioned out of empty tin cans.