A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SITE: This was the first Roman Catholic mission among the Nez Perce Tribe. Built by Father Joseph M. Cataldo, S. J., it was dedicated on September 8, 1874. Father Cataldo was invited by Chief Weeptes Sumpq`in (Eagle Shirt) to locate the Mission on his land at present day Slickpoo, Idaho. By 1910, St. Joseph's Mission grounds included a convent, children's home, and a church building. Fires destroyed the children's dorms in 1916 and again in 1925. Father Cataldo died in 1928. Most of the burial here are for children. There are three weathered wooden crosses on top of hill by a large cross, this is where the Religious are buried.
The cemetery is located on a hill behind the Mission. Markers are primarily stone in two styles: upright monuments and grass markers, but a few temporary bronze markers were found. It is not advisable to visit the cemetery in late July and August because of rattlesnakes.
Directions: From Lapwai - Drive south on Highway 95. Approximately 6.6 miles from Lapwai is a sign that reads "Historical Site Ahead - St. Joseph's Mission." Turn right at the next intersection. St. Joseph's Mission is 3.8 miles south of Highway 95.
Directions: From Grangeville - Drive north on Highway 95. Approximately 4.0 miles from Culdesac is a sign that reads "Historical Site Ahead - St. Joseph's Mission." Turn left at the next intersection. St. Joseph's Mission
is 3.8 miles south of Highway 95.
Originally surveyed and published in June of 1970 by Mrs. Iver Longeteig, Craigmont, Idaho, for the Twin Rivers Genealogical Society. Surveyed again on August 6, 1999 by Dona L. Lannon.
GPS Coordinates: 46.3162, -116.7088
- Added: 15 Dec 2009
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2334795
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