Preserving Montana's Catholic Heritage : Helena Diocesan Structures and Historic Preservation

The Catholic Diocese of Helena has cooperated with the State Historic Preservation Office to identify and maintain our historic churches, convents, rectories, institutions, and schools in Western Montana. Most are also on the National Historic Preservation Register. These buildings have survived from the 19th to the 21st century with St. Mary's Mission, Stevensville dating from 1841 being the first church in the territory. In the Helena area, St. Joseph's church built in 1876 in Canton survives east of the town site which is now submerged by Canyon Ferry Lake. The Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, built in 1874, was demolished after the Cathedral of St. Helena was built. Several structures in Anaconda comprise a historic district with St. Peter's Church built in 1888 being the oldest of the Catholic Church buildings. Perhaps the smallest structure on the list is St. Joseph's Church at D'Aste between Charlo and Moiese on the Flathead Indian reservation. For several years the Marysville Catholic community has worked to preserve their historic building. Photos from the Diocese of Helena Archives illustrate the Catholic community's efforts at preserving its historic structures.

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Preserving Montana's Catholic Heritage