Clio Logo

Constructed in 1897, St. Joseph's Catholic Church is the oldest church in Pocatello and one of the earliest stone churches in Idaho still standing. In addition to its age, it is also historically significant for its Gothic Revival architecture. It was built with rough sandstone and features a wood-frame belfry with a copper steeple, Gothic arched windows, and round windows (one of which has a star-of-David motif). The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


  • Joseph's Catholic Church was built in 1897 and is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture.

When the church was built Pocatello was a thriving community. Thanks for the Union Pacific Railroad, the town became a major trade and transportation hub in the Northwest (for many years it was an important stopping point for settlers, gold miners, and pioneers who passed through the town on the Oregon Trail). Immigrants also came to Pocatello to find work and many of them were Catholics from southern Europe. St. Joseph's, no doubt, was built to serve this community. Another notable feature of the church is its historic organ, which was installed in 1915. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $1,000 to an Idaho Senator to help pay for it. It was restored in 2014.

Hibbard, Don J. "St. Joseph's Catholic Church." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form.

August 29, 1978. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/78001044_text.

"Pocatello History." Gateway to the Northwest. Accessed April 9, 2020. https://www.pocatello.us/463/Pocatello-History.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church. "Celebration recital Sunday for 100-year-old organ at St. Joseph's church." October 29, 2015. https://www.idahostatejournal.com/pocatello/celebration-recital-sunday-for--year-old-organ-at-st/article_005ca7f1-790f-51b7-9744-5e7493624831.html.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Wikimedia Commons:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St._Joseph%27s_Catholic_Church_Pocatello.jpg