Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stevensville & Hamilton Montana

St. Mary's Mission in Stevensville, Montana
I copied this from the sign outside the museum:
Established in 1841 by Pierre DeSmet, in response to requests for Black Robes by four separate delegations sent by Flathead and Nez Perce tribes to St. Louis. Fr. DeSmet and his party erected Montana's first church immediately west on the bank of the Bitter Root River. They planted the first gardens and harvested the first wheat and oats, practiced first irrigation, bred first livestock, taught first classes and organized the first musical band. St. Mary's was the site of the first flour and lumber mills. Fr. Ravalli, Montana's beloved priest-physician-artist-sculptor-architect, for whom this county is named, was assigned to St. Mary's during 1845-1850 and 1866 until his death in 1884. He rests in the cemetery west of the chapel. St. Mary's ceased to be an Indian mission in 1891, when the Flathead-Salish were forced to remove to a reservation. The chapel served as a church for settlers until 1954, when a new church was built and mission became a historic site.

We loved the teepees erected near the mission. Notice the Bitterroot Mountains in the background, the highest peaks still snowy.

This is a mansion we spotted in Stevensville. Strangely, it had a "For Rent" sign in front!

We visited the Daly Mansion in Hamilton last summer but didn't take the tour inside. This time we came armed with dollars to do it! It is hard to imagine the luxury with which the copper king and his family lived. All those rooms, and then we thought about returning to our 5th wheel, so much easier upkeep.

Last summer I was more intrigued with this enormous cottonwood tree, the largest I've ever seen, than I was with the mansion. We took more photos of it, too.

Here I am on the porch of the mansion, admiring the flower boxes.

Last, but not least, Keith is holding our tickets for the tour!

1 comment:

Forry and Char said...

Sounds like you had a fun day!