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St. Ignatius, Montana

Lake County's oldest town, founded in 1854 by Jesuit Missionaries, is home of the St. Ignatius Mission. St. Ignatius had the first residence school for Indians, first hospital, first saw mill, and first flour mill in the state...The St. Ignatius Mission is over 100 years old and a visitor's delight. This beautiful landmark was built with local materials by Indians and missionaries in 1891. The million bricks were made with local clay, the lumber was cut in nearby foothills and the striking interior murals were designed and painted by brother Joseph Carignano. The 58 frescoes and murals on the church ceiling are worthy of European cathedrals. The St. Ignatius Church is open daily to visitors. ..The St. Ignatius community offers many of the services you would find in larger cities, all within close proximity of the National Bison Range. Some of the valley's best hiking and fishing recreational areas are minutes from town. St. Mary's Lake, twin Lakes, Mission Falls and McDonald Lake are all within a short distance. But best of all are the friendly faces you will find on your trip to St. Ignatius. St. Ignatius is located in northwestern Montana, north of Missoula on US Highway 93.

Web site: www.travelmt.com/mt-cities-St.+Ignatius.html

Major Events and Festivals

July

Arlee Powwow

Held in mid July. Sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Yamncut.

Good Old Days

Held in mid July. Three days of family-orientated fun in our Good Old Days Park. Friday night family night starting with barbecue dinner, entertainment, fireworks. Saturday Buffalo Run, pancake breakfast, parade, fun and games in the park with horseshoe tournament, lots of special events and food. Sunday gospel sing-along. 406.745.3123

Attractions

Flathead Indian Museum & Trading Post

Rich in history and Native American culture, St. Ignatius is a small town on the Flathead Indian Reservation offering spectacular views of the Mission Valley and range. The Flathead Indian Museum has an extensive collection of authentic Native American crafts, art and artifacts, primarily from the Flathead and Kootenai tribes. There is also a sampling of artifacts from other US and Canadian tribes, along with a wildlife exhibit.

Fort Connah

The site of Fort Connah is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Connah was a Hudson's Bay Trading Post established in 1846. One of the three original buildings still remains and is believed to be the oldest standing building in Montana. It was active from 1846 to 1871. The Restoration Society is planning a visitor center and small museum. The Society has a display with Hudson's Bay Co. artifacts at the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana. The Fort Connah Historic Site is located between St. Ignatius and Charlo on US Highway 93 between St. Ignatius and Charlo.

St. Ignatius Mission

The St. Ignatius Mission was built in the early 1890's. This Catholic Church is unique because its walls and ceilings have 61 original paintings by Brother Joseph Carignano, S.J. on them. The Mission Mountain Range is a beautiful backdrop of scenery behind the Mission Church. The church is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation. We have two very special paintings of the Salish Lord and Lord's mother (in Native American form) that are located in the back of the Mission. Next to the Mission, we have a museum and gift shop that displays Mission and Indian artifacts and sells religious items. We also have the log home which was the original Sisters' residence when they first arrived. The Mission is open daily for tourists and for those who wish to worship privately from 9am - 8pm in the summer and 9am - 5pm in the winter. Sunday Mass is at 9:15am.

Recreation

Biking

Bob Marshall Wilderness Ranch

"Whether you are looking for a wilderness escape, fantastic fishing or a splendid big-game hunt, the Burns' will pamper you with superb food, skilled guides, well-trained horses and a beautiful lodge." -Jim Zumbo, Outdoor Life Magazine. Family owned/operated for over 30 years. 406.754.2285 or www.wildernessranch.com

Fishing

St. Mary's Lake, twin Lakes, Mission Falls and McDonald Lake are all within a short distance.

Hiking

Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness Area

Covers almost 92,000 acres. It ranges from around 4,000 feet elevation in the foothills, to 10,000 foot mountain peaks. Cirque basins shaped by the glaciers that bent this landscape created more than 112 lakes.The Mission Valley is a superb destination for beginning ice climbers.

Water Sports

St. Mary's Lake, twin Lakes, Mission Falls and McDonald Lake are all within a short distance.