Historic St. Mary's
Mission & Museum
est. 1841

OPEN:  MAY 5 - OCT. 15

Guided Tours
May 5 - October 15
Tuesday - Saturday 11 to 2

Gift Shop & Museum
May 5 - October 15
Tuesday - Saturday 11 to 3

[email protected]
P.O. Box 211
315 Charlo Street
Stevensville, MT 59870

Historic St. Mary's Mission Brand, "Cross on a Hill" is one of the brands first used  in Montana.

A Visit to the Site
"Where Montana Began"

Historic St. Mary's Mission stands in the shadow of St. Mary's Peak in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana.  Fr. Pierre De Smet, a Jesuit priest, founded the Mission in 1841. The State of Montana grew from those early beginnings of the settlement first called St. Mary’s and later named Stevensville. The town holds the distinct honor of being the place “Where Montana Began”. The well-preserved buildings and artifacts of the Mission Complex afford visitors a look back at the historical beginnings of the birth of the State and the settlement of the West.
Historic St. Mary's Mission from  Backtrack Films on Vimeo.
Touring Historic St. Mary's

Your tour begins in the Visitor's Center where you can explore the museum, art gallery and gift shop .  Following a brief video that provides a foundation for the walking tour, experienced guides take you on a visit of the Mission complex that includes St. Mary's Chapel with attached residence, dining area and kitchen, Father Ravalli's cabin and pharmacy, Chief Victor's cabin that houses a Salish museum, a replica of an ox cart and the old dove cote. Throughout the buildings are original hand carved furnishings by Fr. Ravalli , Salish artifacts, historic documents and photos of days gone by. You will pass by an apple tree, planted in 1869 by Fr. Ravalli.  While showing its age, the tree continues to bear fruit and stands as a reminder of  the history of this lovely site where the State of Montana had its beginning. Visitors in May and June may be fortunate enough to see the Bitterroot flower in bloom throughout the  grounds.

Bitterroot in Bloom

Strolling the Grounds

Visitors are welcome to stroll the scenic grounds or use the picnic facilities in DeSmet Park at any time with no fee.

Aerial View of the Mission 

Cross on a Hill Brand of Historic St. Mary's
"There is a spirit present at St. Mary's, like none I have felt before."
Carlo Ravalli - Member of the Ravalli family of Ferrara, Italy - 2005
Guided Tours
Open for tours from May 5 to October 15, 2020
Groups and school tours are always welcome.

The "Red Hats" on a tour of Historic St. Mary's Mission
A fascinated school group on tour of Historic St. Mary's Mission
Individual & Group Tours
School Tours
Guided Tours are available for groups and individuals. Access to the buildings does require a guide.

Length of tour from 30 to 75 minutes.  Our tours are tailored to the visitor's desired time.

For a tour of St. Mary's Chapel only,  we ask for a donation.

Large groups please make reservations in order that we may accommodate your group.  We are more than happy to work with you if you have a particular agenda in mind.
Educators are encouraged to book tours for their classes. These tours provide a foundation for learning about the history of the State of Montana and its early beginnings in Stevensville.

The tour provides an Indian Education instructional program for teachers and students and follows the state instructional guidelines. Funds provided to all public schools for Indian Education for All qualify.

Please allow 90 minutes for the tour. We encourage all teachers to book a tour at a reduced rate of $5.00 per person.
OPEN: May 5 - OCT. 15

Guided Tours
May 5 - October 15
Tuesday - Saturday 11 to 2

Gift Shop & Museum
May 5 - October 15
Tuesday - Saturday 11 to 3

~ A.D.A. approved
~ Gift Shop
~ Research Library
~ Art Gallery
~ Museum
~ Exhibit of Salish artifacts
~ Restroom Facilities

~ Father Ravalli's Cabin and Pharmacy
~ Chief Victor's Cabin & Salish Museum
~ St. Mary's Chapel
~ Residence and Dining Room
~ The Dove Cote

Picnic in the shadow of St. Mary's Peak
~ No Fee
~ Tables
~ Salish Encampment

~ Diorama of  Chief Big Face, Fr. De Smet  and Chief Victor
~ Cemetery where Fr. Ravalli is buried
~ Indian burial grounds
~ The apple tree planted by Fr. Ravalli
~  Ox cart and barn


Historic St. Mary’s Mission
Hours: Tuesday - Friday   
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Phone: 406-777-5734