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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Riggins
By Barry Swackhamer, May 4, 2018
Area Industries Marker
|Over eleven thousand years ago, groups of Native Americans started the long history of land use in this area. The Nez Perce Tribe carried on the rich tradition of hunting, fishing, and gathering food, herbs and wood. Mountain men and early explorers . . . — — Map (db m119353) HM|
|Early settler Charlie Clay, who operated a sheep ranch at Berg Creek, needed a better way to get his sheep across the river to the shearing plant located at the confluence of the Little Salmon and Salmon rivers. If the weather was bad or he felt . . . — — Map (db m119360) HM|
|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 . . . — — Map (db m119447) HM|
|First School (photo upper left)
The area’s first school opened its door in 1894 on a flat near the river in north Riggins. The small log cabin, with few windows and a fireplace, served as the classroom for fourteen students in grades . . . — — Map (db m119448) HM|
|Before the wagon road from White Bird to Meadows was completed in 1903, travelers endured a trecherous (sic) and roundabout overland journey. Seeing the need for a faster and more direct route, the enterprising J.J. Goff offered ferry service across . . . — — Map (db m119414) HM|
|Before recorded history, the area we know as Riggins was on the west coast of the North American Continent. Thousands of miles to the west was the Pacific Plate, covered by ocean with only a few high points rising above the water. This plate was . . . — — Map (db m119411) HM|
|If trees could talk, the big locust standing guard near the corner of Salmon Street might tell us all the details of the famous Gouge-Eye fight. It seems that Homer Levander and Big Markham got into a fight over comely Daisy Trumbull. According to . . . — — Map (db m119358) HM|
|There were no formal churches in Riggins until the 1930s, but the early pioneers have always gathered together to worship. Jim Aitken, and other early homesteaders, often met in the schoolhouse to teach Sunday School from lesson plans taken from the . . . — — Map (db m119450) HM|
|Before you stands the north tower of the original Manning Crevice Bridge. The original bridge was located approximately 14 miles up on the Big Salmon Road. A new bridge was built and opened in 2018.
HISTORY: The Crevice Bridge was first . . . — — Map (db m119429) HM|
|The Brundage House (photo top left)
301 South Main Street
Built in 1918, the Scott Brundage home was one of the nicest of its time in Riggins. In 1927, the home was leased to the U.S. Forest Service and was eventually purchased by . . . — — Map (db m119361) HM|
|The Riggins irrigation ditch was built in 1891 by early pioneers, Charlie Clay and brothers Isaac and Johnny Irwin, to supply water to their gold mining operation. By 1894, gold mining waned and the ditch was used for irrigation water. It wasn’t . . . — — Map (db m119354) HM|
| Riggins Area Honor Roll
World War I
John Alkire • Henry Baker • Ed Boodry • George Boodry • Ed Clark • Vic Hinkley • Preston Jewett • Grenville Kimbrough • Mervin Mc Whinney • Bill Patterson WWII • Clinton Reeves • Earl Sewell • . . . — — Map (db m119430) WM|
|Riggins’ first hotel, Hotel Riggins, built in 1894 by pioneering businessman Dick Riggins, was located in the center of town across from Berger Street. The hotel also served as the post office and in 1901, Dick Riggins was appointed as the first . . . — — Map (db m119446) HM|
|Lighthouse of Highway 95
In 1946, Jim and Velma Summerville built a liquor bar, cafe, and supperclub. Summerville’s Cafe and Club was known as “The Lighthouse of Highway 95,” welcoming countless travelers to their 24-hour cafe. . . . — — Map (db m119409) HM|
|From Allatlo'puh to Gouge-Eye to Riggins
The river terrace, now known as Riggins, has a long and varied history. Although it is known that the general area has been used by various groups of Native Americans for about 11,500 years, the oldest . . . — — Map (db m119489) HM|
|In 1897, the area surrounding Riggins was designated part of the Bitterroot National Forest Reserve. The Riggins area was included in the Weiser Reserve in 1906, then added to the Nez Perce National Forest in 1908.
First Forest Service Ranger . . . — — Map (db m119362) HM|
|In the 1890s, Captain “Cap” Guleke began making regular float trips down the Salmon River from the town of Salmon to Riggins. He would build a large wooden sweep boat, called a scow, and deliver supplies to river ranches. At the . . . — — Map (db m119413) HM|
|John Riggins was Riggins’ first mailman, carrying the mail from Grangeville to New Meadows by horseback and sometimes by foot.
By 1893, he operated a stage line from Grangeville to Fiddle Creek, north of Riggins and the end of the wagon road.
He . . . — — Map (db m109852) HM|