Commemoration set on establishment of mission in 1853 - Etcetera - 9/4/13


A community commemoration of the 1853 establishment of the St. Rose of the Cayouse Mission will begin at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, sponsored by the Frenchtown Historical Foundation, at Basel Cellars Estate Winery, 2901 Old Milton Highway.

Catholic priest Eugene Chirouse established St. Rose of the Cayouse on Sept. 10, 1853, by the mouth of Yellowhawk Creek at its confluence with the Walla Walla River.

He filed a St. Rose donation claim for 640 acres that includes land currently owned by Basel Cellars as well as adjoining property owned by Bob and Cindy Gregoire, where commemoration activities will conclude.

St. Rose of the Cayouse existed only until 1855 when the mission house built that same year was burned during the Yakima-Walla Walla Indian war. Church records show 18 burials at the Mission cemetery, the first on Sept. 10, 1853, and the final one Feb. 3, 1856, the interred all being Native Americans who had converted to the Catholic faith.

The log chapel built in 1863 on the adjoining William McBean donation claim was moved to the vicinity of the present Frenchtown Historic Site the same year where a new cemetery was established near the Walla Walla River.

The St. Rose of Lima Mission and the final Frenchtown cemetery on the hill were established at the site in 1876.

During the commemoration for St. Rose of the Cayouse there will be displays and food provided by attendees for a potluck dinner. The Rev. Mike Fitzpatrick of St. Andrew’s Mission will provide Catholic perspectives and Armand Minthorn from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will offer tribal perspectives on the historic mission.

The commemoration will then move to the Gregoire property along Yellowhawk Creek for final activities.

For more details, contact Daniel Clark at 509-522-0399, email, or go to

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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