St. Mary's Church and Pharmacy

North Ave., Stevensville, Montana


St. Mary's Mission

Photo HABS/HAER 1941courtesy Library of Congress




"Significance: The first Catholic mission in the northwest was founded by Father Jean de Smet for the Salish (Indians) in 1841. The mission was abandoned in 1830 when the land and improvements were sold to John Owen who built a trading fort nearby. In 1866 the Jesuits reactivated the mission. Father Anthony Ravalli, designer of the famed Cataldo Mission, returned at that time to find St. Mary's Mission in ruins. Under his direction, utilizing the logs from the early church, the present log church was built. Adjacent to and north of the church Father Ravalli erected the first pharmacy built in Montana. This two story log structure still stands today. The furnishings and trim of this building were hand carved by Father Ravalli. In this building he served as a doctor to the local Indians. Father Ravalli remained at St. Mary's Mission until it was closed in 1891." - HABS MT-11

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 6, 1970
Reference number
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Medical business/office; Religious structure
Current functions
Museum; Religious structure
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2


19th Century (37,601)
Built 1866 (277)
Built during 1860s (3,733)
Church (5,666)
Log (2,299)
Montana (2,184)
Place of worship (6,030)
Private owner (54,396)
Ravalli County, Montana (105)
Stevensville, Montana (46)

Update Log 

  • May 27, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • May 27, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information