Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bill's Pictures from Cataldo Mission

I just got Bill's last disk of pictures from our trip. Here is an example of his attention to detail as we toured the Sacred Heart Church in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Because I am "attention-deficit" oriented, I'm getting all the following information from the internet!
A usual practice, but especially useful with digital cameras, is to photograph any signage that will help me remember what or where my pictures are from. Apparently Bill thinks this is a good idea too, because he also captured this sign on the wall of the mission.

Not only is the building itself very pretty and photogenic, but the grounds were really lovely. There is much that is green - beautiful lawns, trees, a park-like setting around the perimeter of the church. There were some very beautiful rhododendrun bushes as well.

Did I mention his attention to detail? This gives away his vocation as a designer/engineer, doesn't it? So it's really not just his camera that does all the work! This building is in very good repair. Quoting from Wikipedia now, "In the early 19th century, the Coeur d'Alene Indians had heard of these powerful "medicine men" in black robes with a book and wanted some of these men for their own tribe. They sent men east to St. Louis, and in 1842 Father Pierre-Jean De Smet responded to request and came to the area. Fr. Nicholas Point and Br. Charles Duet came and helped to pick a mission location. The first was along the St. Joe River, but was subject to flooding. In 1846, they moved it to the current location.
In 1850, the church was taken over by Antonio Ravalli, who began designing the new mission building. He made sure that the building was constructed by the Indians themselves, so that they could feel part of the church. It was built using the wattle and daub method, and was finished some three years later, without using a single nail.
In time, the mission became an important stop for traders, settlers, and miners taking on the role as a hospitality and supply station. It was also a working port for boats heading up the Coeur d'Alene River.
In 1961, it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 1966 was put on the National Register of Historic Places.

I wish I knew how long this organ has been in the church. Isn't it beautiful?

Here is the confessional - looks like it's been around a very long time.

I do remember the docent telling about the materials used in the construction of this altar. Though it looks like marble, it's only painted to look that way. All the materials were taken from available resources in the area, so lots of wood and paper was creatively masked to look like more costly materials.

Another comment I found on the internet: "The Mission walls stand a foot thick, without the benefit of nails. The structure was woven carefully of straw, mud and wooden pegs. Inside, there are no pews because the Indians preferred to worship in an open room. Over 300 members of the tribe labored over the construction." I don't remember what was said about the pictures on the walls, but they certainly are reflective of the mood that is set in this most interesting church.

1 comment:

Barbaranne said...

Dad really does have an Artist's eye. I love his camera shots- certainly more involved than merely a fabulous camera! Lots of people have envy-worthy cameras without the gift for using them. Dad has a gift.