Tiger Historical Center & Museum, Ione

#69 of 78 in Historic Sites in Washington State
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Built at its present location in 1912, the renovated Tiger Museum/Store serves as the south gateway for the North Pend Orielle Scenic Byway.

The Early Settlers of Tiger.

The first recorded settler was Joseph Parker in 1884; he was a miner. About 1891, the John Renshaw family came to Tiger and lived on Renshaw Creek, just north of Tiger. George Tiger, for whom the town was named, came in 1899. He established the river landing and welcomed new settlers, sharing his home and assisting in clearing land and building homes and roads. Commerce came down the river by boat.

Around 1900, the government opened the land to timber claims and promised homesteaders free seed each year. Families began to arrive in the unsettled territory.

Jennie Wooding was a moving force in the development of early Tiger. The first school in the area was at Tiger, built on land donated by the Wooding family. The Parker School District, named after Joseph Parker, was formed in 1901. The entire community gathered to build a log school house in 1902. A forest fire destroyed it a few years later. A two room school house was then built.

The 1920 census at Tiger showed a population of 261. In 1922 Edmund Brunner did a survey showing 235 for Tiger and the immediate area. Today, the Tiger Store, operated by volunteers of the Tiger Historical Center is the last remaining building of the original town of Tiger.

The History of the Tiger Store.

There aren't any true ghost towns in Pend Oreille County. The area was settled too close to the railroad line for that. About the nearest thing to one is that unpretentious frame building called Tiger Store. It is one of the best examples of "Boom Town Architecture," in the State of Washington.

In the fall of 1905, Jennie Wooding circulated a petition for a post office in Tiger. Everyone in the community helped construct a log building near the boat landing, to house the new post office and a general store. When the building was completed in 1906, Emmanuel Yoder became the first postmaster and the Wooding family ran the store. In 1910, it was moved half a mile west to be next to the new Idaho & Washington Northern Railroad tracks.

In 1912, a new building was constructed for the store and the post office at its present location. The post office closed in 1975. The owner of the store at that time was Barbara Smith. She was also the Post Mistress.

A grant was received in 1999 and the building was restored and opened as a museum, rest area, highway information center, and gift shop where local artists sell their creations. Original post office fixtures from the log cabin post office and the 1912 post office are on display. The museum items were either in the store or donated by local families.

The Tiger Historical Center.

In 1986 the Tiger Historical Center was formed. From 1986 to 1996 the Center ran a museum that drew visitors from all over the world. In 1996 the Center was forced to close due to structural instability of the building. The Tiger Museum had been on the Pend Oreille County Washington Community Economic Revitalization Team (WACERT) list since 1997 in an effort to find funding to save it. In 1999 the partnership of the North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway, the Federal Hwy Administration (FHWA) and the Tiger Historical Center, obtained a grant for the restoration and enhancement of this site.

In the fall of 1999 the Tiger store was lifted off its old foundation, which was crumbling, and moved out of the way so a new foundation could be poured. As the building was on state right-of-way, it was moved just enough to put it in a safer location. Since the building was a historic site, it was not moved far. Once the building was placed on the new foundation the outside and the inside was restored to its former look. After many volunteer man-hours, the project was completed and opened to the public on May 20, 2000. The building houses the Tiger Museum, the early-day Tiger Post Office with many of the original postal items on display, a fine arts outlet with local artisans selling their wares, and many interesting cultural and historic displays of the area.

The Tiger Historical Center, an all volunteer nonprofit organization, owns and operates the museum and restrooms. All profits from the Tiger Museum/Store are used to keep the building open to the public and to continue to restore the site. The Tiger Store is opened to the public from May to September, Thursday thru Monday from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The Store/Museum is also opened each weekend in October to coincide with the Lions Club Train Rides.
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Tiger Historical Center & Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
7 reviews
  • Amazing historical landmark. Very informative! Great home in the wall for history! Snack & gifts! Lots of local history & local authors book is sold there on detailed history of the area. We...  more »
  • Very nice little museum and gift shop. It also has nice rest area bathrooms. Nice to see old buildings being kept alive. This apparently was the once the Tiger store.  more »
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