An image of the Old Mission at Cataldo is part of the frescoes that adorn the historic and ornate Brumidi Corridors of the U.S. Capitol, and Idaho Sen. Jim Risch and his wife, Vicki, have joined with the Idaho Historical Society to highlight the Idaho connection. Yesterday in the Senate, and today in the House, an image of the mid-1800s watercolor painting on which the fresco was based, depicting the newly built Cataldo Mission in its pristine, wooded setting, was displayed for all to see. The old mission is Idaho’s oldest building. It was constructed by Catholic missionaries and members of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe between 1850 and 1853.
As part of today’s presentation, all lawmakers are being presented with a medallion showing the watercolor scene, courtesy of a lobbying firm, Eiguren Ellis Public Policy.
Vicki Risch and Idaho State Historical Society Director Janet Gallimore were in the House gallery for today’s presentation. Rep. Paulette Jordan, D-Plummer, told the House, “I’d like to thank the Idaho Historical Society for bringing this painting and this part of our history to the body, primarily because it’s so important to my family.” Her grandmother was the main contractor behind the development of the Cataldo Mission, she said, at a time when her people, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, were being hit by a devastating wave of smallpox. The mission, she said, was “a port of hope for what we were going through at that time. .. I want to thank those folks who were involved in this project.”