Fort Sherman Chapel work begins

LOREN BENOIT/Press Shane Crist, with Crist and Sons Painting, strips paint from the Fort Sherman Chapel floor Tuesday afternoon as part of a refinishing project by The Museum of North Idaho.

By Kaye Thornbrugh Staff Writer
| January 24, 2020 12:00 AM

Work began Tuesday to refinish the floor of the historic Fort Sherman Chapel, located at 332 Hubbard Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

The Museum of North Idaho received a $5,000 matching grant from the Idaho Heritage Trust for the project. It will cost about $13,000 total to refinish the building’s 1,350-square-foot floor.

Crist and Sons Painting will chemically peel paint from the interior of the main room and provide a protective finish.

Built in 1880, the Fort Sherman Chapel was originally used as a library, reading room school and lecture hall for military science classes, as well as for religious services. Soldiers and their families used the chapel continuously until 1896.

Fort Sherman was abandoned in 1900. The Department of Interior put the buildings and land up for public auction in 1905. The chapel changed hands a number of times, and concerted efforts to preserve the building began in 1934.

The Athletic Round Table held the chapel in trust and began repairs on the structure in 1942. To ensure the preservation of Coeur d’Alene’s oldest standing building, the group donated the chapel to the Museum of North Idaho in 1984.

Today, the Museum of North Idaho rents the chapel to local groups for meetings, small events and about 20 weddings a year. All income is used for the chapel’s expenses and maintenance.