St. Mary's Mission
St. Mary's Mission Review
St. Mary's Mission, established by Father Pierre DeSmet in 1841, was the first Catholic mission in the Northwest and the site of the first permanent non–Native American settlement in Montana. The site is run by a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization that encourages tour groups, school groups, and individuals to explore the home of Father Anthony Ravalli, an Italian priest recruited to the mission by Father DeSmet in 1845. Ravalli was also Montana's first physician and pharmacist. On the site are a photogenic chapel, a priest's quarters, a pharmacy, Father Ravalli's log house, and the cabin of Chief Victor, a Salish Indian who refused to sign the Hell Gate Treaty and move his people onto the Flathead Reservation. A burial plot has headstones bearing the names of both Native Americans and white settlers.
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