This week’s blog post will cover the last two weeks since I posted, because of the spring break timeframe. However, just because it was spring break doesn’t mean research wasn’t conducted. During the past two weeks I was able to make contact with some valuable people in the areas of the map I am concerned with. I have been concentrating primarily on the missions themselves, and after the success I had with contacting St. Mary’s mission, I decided to call around to the other missions as well.
I started by calling St. Ignatiusmission in Montana. Although I knew the original mission was not in Montana, I was hoping I could find some information on the original mission site. A very helpful priest at the mission was kind enough to tell me everything he knew about the original location.
Upon deciphering more of the map, I discovered a town, Priest River, ID. This town is located on the banks where two rivers, the Priest River, and the Pend Oreille River meet. This is an important landmark because the St. Ignatius mission is listed just to the west of this location. But the location of this elusive mission was still a mission to me. I spoke to the Bonner County historical society, but they could not shine any more light onto this mystery.
Next, I tried to pin down the location of the original Coeur d’ Alene mission, on the St. Joseph River in ID. I called the national park, Coeur d’ Alene’s Old Mission, and spoke with the rangers there. They put me in touch with a Mr. Matheson who was part of the Native American Tribe in the area. He then gave me the number of a local archeologist, who he believes has the actual GPS coordinates of the original Coeur d’ Alene mission. I have yet to be able to contact him in his office, but when I do, success!!
I then started to try to pinpoint the original location of St. Paul’s mission and actually was able to solve another mystery I was working on, the location of the elusive original St. Ignatius mission. I found the website for the State Park in which St. Paul’s mission is located in. I called then to see what they could tell me about St. Paul’s and after some discussion they were able to help me with St. Ignatius. The location of the original mission is in present day Cusick, Wa. They also informed of another book that may provide aid to my project, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
After all the communication with people all over the Northwest, I took another look at the map. I was able to add more updates, such as the new cities I found, and identified possible locations for major places such as Edmonton, Canada as well as Spokane, Washington. I believe I have also identified the border between Canada and the United States.
Overall, the last two weeks have been very eventful, providing me with contacts, and helping to plan for a hopeful trip to this region to see these sites for myself.