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Stevensville Hosts Founders Day

st marys mission
St Mary’s Mission in Stevensville. (KLYQ Photo)

The ringing of the Chapel Bell will begin Sunday’s “Where Montana Began” Founders Day celebration at St Mary’s Mission September 23.

Founder’s Day celebrates the life of Father Anthony Ravalli, for whom Ravalli County is named. It’s a special ceremony this year, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth. Interpretive historian Dr Ellen Baumler of the Montana Historical Society will be one of the key speakers at the event.

The Salish will be returning to the valley to take part in the ceremonies with the raising of the Flathead Nation Flag and a re-enactment of the Salish Indians welcoming the “black robe” missionaries in 1841, and a re-enactment of Chief Victor greeting Father Ravalli in 1845.

The Stevensville FFA Chapter will present the Colors at the beginning of the event and the Knights of Columbus will be cooking up a BBQ on the St Mary’s Mission Grounds after the announcement of the Poster Contest winners.

There will be guided tours of the Mission at reduced rates from 1 to 4 p.m. and the Museum and Gift Shop will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.

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