5.04.2007

Another Lake Roosevelt Gem: St. Paul's Mission

As you leave Ferry county where I live and cross the bride over Lake Roosevelt into Stevens County, you find St. Paul's Mission. It is on a road behind a historical museum close to the lake. St. Paul's was a Jesuit mission church established near the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Colville, on the bluff overlooking the Columbia River. When you stand on the bluff behind the mission you can see where the Native Americans fished before Grand Coulee Dam was built and the Columbia River became Lake Roosevelt. Here is a stanza of a poem by Ronald Webster that captures this place :
" founded by Jesuit blackrobes
in 1845
in a silent landmark of search
rising up as if Saint Ignatius
and Saint Paul were the only two
visitors in sight; I'm alone,
alone with these two visitors
unseen; Saint Paul's mission
church stands twenty yards
away, inside this aloneness.
An empty church.
An empty church whose stillness
is aloneness spreading out into
pine trees toward the river."

This is a peaceful place to visit. I have brought students here for field trips and a few weeks ago we took the drive behind the museum to take in the natural setting of the mission. It is worth the trip to northeastern Washington to visit this historical site.

2 comments :

  1. It's very interesting to see these Eastern Washington pictures. I think I told you on my first comment that my Dad was born in SpokanE. Oh yeah, he's kind of a meat and potatoes guy too!

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  2. The view from this bluff is spectacular. My dad moved to Spokane in high school. There were many foods we never had at our house because "your father doesn't like them"!

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