“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Riggins in Idaho County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Early Businesses

From Saloons to the Golden Rule


—Salmon River Heritage Waking Tour —

Early Businesses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 4, 2018
1. Early Businesses Marker
Inscription. Riggins’ first store was opened in 1897 by George Curtis, a storekeeper from nearby Lucile. Curtis converted Riggins’ first saloon into a much needed general store.
In 1903, Maggie Clay Rhoades and her sister, Carrie Belle Clay, hired carpenter Smith Lewis to build a large store with living quarters in the center of town, naming it Rhoades and Clay. In 1915, Tom Pogue bought the store and renamed it The Salmon River Store Company. Jim Harris bought the store in 1926 and renamed it the Golden Rule. Although changing hands many times, the Golden Rule Store served Riggins for many years.

(Side-bar on left:)
The Many Clay Enterprises
In 1916, John Clay installed Riggins’ first gas pumps on Main Street. He later built a cafe, called the Poodle Pup, as well as a blacksmith shop and a livery barn.
In the 1930s, Jessie Clay ran the cafe and called it the Canyon Café. The livery barn, known as Clay’s Hall, had a large hardwood floor and was used by the entire community for dances, funerals, boxing smokers, movies and even the high school basketball games.
In 1920, John and Jessie Clay opened Riggins’ third store across the street, called Riggins Mercantile. Their newly enlarged building included the post office and The Paliciers, a saloon and card room.

(Side-bar on
Early Businesses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 4, 2018
2. Early Businesses Marker

Riggins Taxi Service
Eph Holbrook, a blacksmith and hard working community-minded man, owned one of the first cars in Riggins. He successfully made the transition from ponies to Fords, and became an accomplished driver. Since there were only thee cars in town, he started a taxi service providing the early residents transportation to Grangeville, New Meadows, and nearby ranches.
Erected by City of Riggins.
Location. 45° 25.308′ N, 116° 18.911′ W. Marker is in Riggins, Idaho, in Idaho County. Marker is on Main Street (U.S. 95) near Lodge Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 103 Main Street, Riggins ID 83549, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Riggins in the 1940s (here, next to this marker); Riggins' Early Hotels (within shouting distance of this marker); The Evolution of a River Terrace (within shouting distance of this marker); Clay's Swinging Bridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Educating Riggins' Children (about 400 feet away); The Forest Service (about 500 feet away); Gouge-Eye Legend (about 600 feet away); You've Got Mail (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Riggins.
Categories. Industry & Commerce
Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 29, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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