Historic Structures

Saint Joseph's Mission, Tampico, Yamima County, Washington

Date added: August 16, 2010 Categories: Washington

Father D'Herbomez, with brothers of the Oblates , established the Yakima Mission in 1847, maintaining it until 1855 at which time he was forced to retire by the Indian war.

The mission of the Antanum, later to become known as the St. Joseph's Mission, was first located near the present town of Wapato, on the north side of Yakima river, near the present residence of W. P. Sawyer, a spot known by the Indians as Aleshecas in 1849, by Fathers Paadosy and Brother Blanchet. The mission was a hut-like structure of adobe clay plastered on a frame of sticks, with a rude chapel attached to the hut.

The mission at Aleshecas, abandoned in 1853, near the present Tampico, became St. Joseph's Mission. During the war of 1855, soldiers, regulars under Major Rains, with Col. Nesmith of the volunteers , finding the mission on the Ahtamim deserted and a keg of powder secreted, assumed that the Fathers were aiding the Indians, in reprisal burned the mission. This accusation was later refuted by all authorities including General Grant.

The war of 1855-6, the burning of the mission, caused the suspension of Catholic missions until 1867-8 when Fathers St Onge and Boulet reestablished and built the present mission buildings It is interesting to note that in 1872 these Fathers set out the first apple orchard on the Tampico place which is now the A. D Eglin ranch, the first apple trees planted in the Yakima Valley-

Saint Joseph's Mission, Tampico, Yamima County, Washington