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St. Joseph at Jump-Off Joe Bell Tower - Valley, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 48° 09.169 W 117° 41.580
11U E 448458 N 5333517
Quick Description: St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church is a little country church just off Highway 395 near the little town of Valley, WA.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 12/8/2013 2:04:59 PM
Waymark Code: WMJNB0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
More precisely, the church is on Church Road, about one half mile south of Bulldog Creek Road, which heads west from Highway 395 about two miles to Highway 231, which, in turn, runs north through Valley, about 2 miles away. Church Road is just west of the intersection of Bulldog Creek Road and Highway 395.

The church was founded about 1898, with services being held in various homes until this building was built. Along with the founding of the church came the founding of the St. Joseph Cemetery, in 1898. When the church was built, in 1905, the cemetery was moved to the site of the new church. The church was initially a Jesuit Mission, built by Jesuit missionary Father Aloysius Folchi, who was also responsible for the construction of St. Mary of the Rosary Parish in Chewelah.

Through the years very little renovation has been done to the church, leaving the church much the same as it was in 1905. Though it is now shrouded within an aluminum roof and vinyl siding, structurally it is still original. Given that there is another, associated, parish in nearby Valley, served by the same pastor, it is unclear whether regular services are still held at this church.

As was the norm at the turn of the 20th century, this simple square bell tower is slightly outsized compared to the accompanying church. The tower is open at the top, allowing the sound of the bell to carry for quite a distance, and the roof of the tower has had a rather different treatment. The roofline follows the peaks of the openings on the four sides, allowing for an interesting appearance. We have noticed that, though the norm at the time was to place the bell tower on a corner of the front façade, Roman Catholic churches are usually an exception, having the bell tower centred. The steeply pitched spire is topped with the obligatory cross, this one appearing to be of wood.

There is an old story associated with this church, which I shall allow the church to relate here:

A popular parish legend involving beloved pastor, Father Pius Mutter, recounts the theft of the church’s altar cross, sanctuary lamp fixture, thurible, and other sanctuary implements. Every Sunday, Father Mutter pleaded that the “missing” items be returned, but to no avail, until finally, he threatened to cancel hunting season for the year, and all of a sudden, the “missing” items mysteriously returned.
NB: Since there is no sign at the church I've included two photos of the cemetery sign. The one with the church in the background and the sign to the left has been flipped to make the sign a bit easier to read.

Address of Tower:
Church Road
Valley, WA USA

Number of bells in tower?: 1

Relevant website?: [Web Link]

Rate tower:

Tours or visits allowed in tower?: No

Still Operational: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post an original picture of the tower taken while you were there. Please also record how you came to be at this tower and any other interesting information you learned about it while there.
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BK-Hunters visited St. Joseph at Jump-Off Joe Bell Tower - Valley, WA 1/17/2014 BK-Hunters visited it