St. Joseph's Church & Cemetery

Among the earliest signs of white settlement in the Spokane Valley was the construction of churches and cemeteries, and St Joseph's Church & Cemetery is the earliest in the Spokane Valley. The original structure was built in 1892 by Catholic settlers, but the cemetery had been in use for years before hand. St. Joseph's greeted early settlers as they arrived in the valley.

For several decades the church did not have a regular parish priest as the location was too remote and the congregation too few. But by the early 1920s the Valley's population had grown considerably, and the first permanent priest was assigned to the location. An extensive fire completely destroyed the old church in 1928, but it was faithfully reconstructed the following year. The newly reconstructed building was maintained and occupied by the steadily expanding parish for much of the remaining century. By 1992 a need for a larger church drove the parish to construct a modern and larger church in nearby Otis Orchards.

Nowadays the church and cemetery are maintained as funeral chapel. The grounds are carefully maintained to reflect the extensive landscaping work that was set up by the original parish. In addition to the picturesque grounds there is a extraordinary monument to St. Joseph on the hill behind. Stonework stairs lead to the shrine, which was hand built by parishioner Henry Arbes in the mid 1950s. It depicts the church's namesake as well as an outdoor Stations of the Cross and gives visitors spectacular views of the valley and church grounds below.