I wouldn’t call it a town, or even a village at this point. Slickpoo Idaho is more of a group of a few houses along Mission Creek just out of Culdesac Idaho.  With that being said, it was at one time a much larger village.  In 1874  the chief of the Nez Perce Indians who were living in the area invited Father Joseph M. Cataldo to start a Catholic Mission there.   In my research, I have found different names for who gave the land. In a usgwarchives.net paper it states the following :

“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.”

In an article on history.Idaho.gov it states this:
“Josiah Slickpoo provided a Mission Creek site somewhat isolated from Presbyterian missionary activities, and construction was completed by September 8, 1874. “

historic sign of Slickpoo
It would make sense that the name of this place was derived from the Family name of Slickpoo, obviously.

As I turned up Mission Creek road I was pleased to discover a beautiful drive with green pastures and a curvy country road lined with trees in many spots and along the creek.  It’s worth the visit just to drive to the historic mission.  The mission is now private though and not open to the public. The mission looks to be holding together pretty well for a wooden building that is 142 years old.

St. Joseph Mission in Slickpoo Idaho

Here is a closer shot of the statue in front of the mission.

Statue at St. Joseph Mission

Across the street there’s an old building with a couple of outhouses in front of it. The sign on the building says it’s a museum, but I’m not sure if it’s ever open anymore. I was not able to find much info about it on the internet besides that John and Joetta Pfeifer started the museum in 1989.  I plan on trying to find out more about the museum because I would love to see whats still there. In back of the museum are some old agricultural implements that are being covered with the overgrowth. Also back there is this cool old caboose.

I love old rustic buildings and this caboose fit the part pretty well. I also wonder whats inside of it.  I processed this next picture to show all of the awesome textures in the metal with moss on it and the wood grain.

old red wood door

If anyone reading this has any further info on the mission or the museum, please leave me a comment below.


Comments (4)

  1. Joetta Pfeifer has taken care of this church for many years. On the first Sunday in June, there is a mass held in the church and Joetta has always attended for as long as i’ve know about it. I was raised in the Mission in the mid 1940’s and attend the mission mass every year. Joetta’s health is not very good but has lived next to the church for many years. I think of this place, the mission, as the place my life started, and try to be there the first Sunday of June every year.

    1. Thanks for commenting and for the information!

  2. My Mother, formerly Teresa Feucht lived there as a child. She stated that there were not enough seats for native and non native people to be seated in school. Therefore they took turns, Part of the day native children sat and part of the day non native children sat. Her Father had homesteaded there however the depression ended that and they moved to Cottonwood. Also if you remeber the Pueblo incident where the US spy ship was captured and taken to North Korea, was commanded by Capt Lloyd Bucher, he also grew up there. The Native people could not pronounce the Name Feucht, so they called my Mom’s family Fife.

    1. Wow! Thank you for commenting and sharing your story! That’s so interesting to get the personal insight into it’s history.

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