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Ellisforde Mission Cemetery
Okanogan County, Washington

Ellisforde Mission Cemetery

Shrine constructed to incorporate the original mission bell, which survived two fires.

The plaque seen inside the shrine reads as follows:

"Old Okanogan Mission: In the fall of 1885, newly ordained Fr Etienne de Rouge S.J. arrived at the small primitive cabin left by his predecessor, Fr Urban Grassi, S.J. The cab in marked a favorite meeting place of the Okanogan Indians, which they named "Schall-Keesi," meaning "Bend in the River." The earliest marked grave is dated 1880. Fr. De Rouge constructed a log chapel and later a church and school that were completed in 1888. This was the first school in Okanogan County. Fire destroyed the complex in 1910. In 1913 only the church was rebuilt on the site. The Mission Chapel served as a landmark and symbol of the Christian faith for the Indian inhabitants of the Okanogan country. It's spire stood as a sentry in the Okanogan Valley for more than 60 years until destroyed by fire on May 07, 1971."

To perpetuate the memory of this Indian Mission, the heirs of this rich tradition erected the present monument. The bell of the mission, which survived 2 fires, remains incorporated in the shrine.

Photograph Copyright © 2003, Maggie Rail

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