Another solid year at the Old Mission Skills Fair

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  • Photos by JOSH MCDONALD The Cataldo Mission played host to its annual Skills Fair last weekend. The fair has demonstrators who explain how life on the frontier was in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s.

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    A group gathers to watch the demonstration on how the Frontier Regulars would assemble their saddles before riding out of camp.

  • Photos by JOSH MCDONALD The Cataldo Mission played host to its annual Skills Fair last weekend. The fair has demonstrators who explain how life on the frontier was in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s.

  • 1

    A group gathers to watch the demonstration on how the Frontier Regulars would assemble their saddles before riding out of camp.

CATALDO — It was a time for stepping back into history at the Old Mission State Park during its annual Skills Fair.

The fair is one of the many fun ways that the park helps people comprehend what life was like all those years ago when the Mission was one of the most vital and traversed areas in Idaho.

The Skills Fair is an event to showcase skills that were used by people during the early Mission years, including demonstrations of flint knapping, diverse techniques used to build the Mission, such as wattle and daub, and different clothes, food, and other basic needs that were either handmade or gathered.

At the skills fair, the demonstrators and vendors wear period clothing and demonstrate skills from the time era of 1840-1920.

Frontier Regulars re-enacted what a soldier’s life was like during the Civil War, including a demonstration on how they would set up their saddles and how their equipment correlated with their uniforms, but there were also various yarn spinners, knitters and lace tatters, Dutch oven cooking, flint knapping, quilting, basket making, blacksmithing, kids activities for the time period, mountain men, crafts and music.

Things got a little louder on Sunday as cannon and rifle fire echoed across the valley, but also when the Spokane River Band played for the fair’s visitors.

While final numbers are not finalized just yet, the busy weekend saw hundreds of visitors come through the park and museum, making it one of the year’s busiest weekends at the state park.

Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park contains the oldest building in Idaho, the Mission of the Sacred Heart was constructed between 1850 and 1853.

The event is held the second weekend of July each year.

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