• Nez Perce National Historical Park. Front Page banner photograph is of Heart of the Monster, an ancient place where the Nez Perce creation story originates. The secondary page photograph is of Nez Perce beadwork.

    Nez Perce

    National Historical Park ID,MT,OR,WA

The Spalding Presbyterian Church

Spalding Presbyterian Church

The Spalding Presbyterian Church.

Nez Perce National Historical Park

Henry Spalding brought the Presbyterian Church to Nez Perce country and in the preceding years built a small but devout congregation near Lapwai.

After leaving Nez Perce country in the aftermath of the killings of the Whitmans at their mission, Spalding returned in 1871 as a result of President Ulysses S. Grant's peace policy, allowing various Christian denominations to nominate Indian agents to administer tribal affairs. Spalding wanted to strengthen the Presbyterian Church on the reservation and end the growing influence of other Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church. Sue and Kate McBeth built on Spalding's work and continued to strengthen the Presbyterian Church, vigorously enforcing church doctrine and stamping out traditional practices.

The first services were held in the building in 1876. In 1905, the building was given a brick facing which is what you see now. The building is used and maintained by an active congregation and is not open to the public.

Did You Know?

Petroglyph of Big Horn at Buffalo Eddy, a site of Nez Perce National Historical Park

The Nez Perce made hunting bows from the horn of the Big Horn Sheep, an animal that is native to their homeland.