Today we drove from Missoula to visit the tiny town of Saint Ignatius. The Mission Valley south of Polson is bordered by the rugged, snow-capped Mission Mountains and the National Bison Range. We visited the historic church today and the town. We plan a return visit later for the bison tour.
The St. Ignatius Mission National Historic Site was built in 1891 by Indians and Jesuit missionaries from one million bricks made of local clay. On its walls and ceilings are 58 vivid frescoes and murals depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments painted by Brother Joseph Carignano, a self-taught artist who served the mission as a cook and handyman.
After viewing the church we enjoyed shopping at the local general store. It was stocked with locally made items at really great prices. We bought whole grain organic oatmeal, strawberry rhubarb jam and more home-made goodies. More later from Montana.