Mission Valley

St. Joseph Church of D'Aste

The relatively new coat of paint on the St. Joseph Church of D'Aste really made the building stand out against the otherwise monochromatic surroundings while a brief break in the clouds added a nice touch of complimentary color. Rather than my explain the history of the church, below is the text taken from the National Historic Register of Historic Places plaque.

"Congress opened the Flathead Reservation for homesteading in 1910, setting aside several tracts of land for townsite purposes. The town of D’Aste was platted soon after. Thomas P. Quinn operated a store and post office at D’Aste, serving fifty-three local homesteaders whose children attended school at the townsite. By 1911, Jesuit priests from St. Ignatius Mission, an hour distant by horse and buggy, conducted services at the Quinn home for the predominantly Irish Catholic community. By 1915, Reverend William O’Maley of the Sacred Heart Parish at Ronan recognized the need for a mission church. St Joseph’s Church was constructed to serve area settlers. Church representatives raised $500 while the Extension Society of Chicago, Illinois, and local farmers matched the amount. Carpenter Tom McDonald supervised construction while Catholics and Protestants alike donated labor. Oral tradition credits McDonald with St. Joseph’s unusual Craftsman style design, noteworthy as one of only two churches built in this style in Montana. Half-timbering, decorative braces in the front gable, and wide eaves with exposed rafter tails are typical Craftsman style elements. Bishop Carroll of the Diocese of Helena dedicated the Church in May of 1916. The last service was held in 1978. St. Joseph’s is the last physical remnant of the D’Aste townsite. The Helena Diocese transferred the title to the nonprofit D’Aste Women’s Service Group in 1998. Through the efforts of Mable Gallagher and family, the church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places."