The Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater Historical Society


The purpose of the society is to educate parishioners and the community at large about the history and life of the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater. Its intent is to enrich the faith of worshippers by connecting them with the faith communities that preceded them.

The Society presents the Proto-Cathedral, its artifacts, and history — especially the historic figures and events involved in its 1885-1907 period — as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Nesqually.

To this end, the Society conducts monthly guided tours and writes a quarterly Gazette insert in the weekly bulletin. It published the booklet for the 2013 designation of the church as the Proto-Cathedral for the Archdiocese of Seattle. In 2016, we published “A Guide to the Sacred Art and Treasures” of the church. Future publications are in the works, along with celebrations of the Epiphany (Jan. 6) and the Feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24) in 2017.

In 2015, we honored the 130th anniversary of the cathedral’s dedication with a special liturgical event and an exhibition of archival artifacts from the church’s earliest days on the rugged frontier of Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory.

The Proto-Cathedral Historical Society continues with the work started by the former St. James Historical Society, which promoted the 1985 centennial of our St. James Cathedral, now Proto-Cathedral.
For more information, please visit the Historical Society’s dedicated website: