St. Joseph Catholic Church is the lineal descendant of the Ahtanum Mission, established in 1852 by Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. In 1871 Jesuit priests assumed responsibility for the parish and moved the center of church activities to present-day Union Gap. Later, with the railroad, they moved to Yakima where in 1905, a stone church was erected.

On July 30, 1999, this church was destroyed by arson. 

A new larger church is being built and dedicated in 2001.

Notes from the restoration of Millennium Plaza, 2023:  
Displayed in 2003 was a salvaged fragment of burned ornament from the altar of St. Joseph Church. This relic of the 1999 fire was stolen from the plaza in the following years. A similar piece of wooden ornament was placed on display in 2023.