steamboatTiger can be found at the junctions of Highways 20/31, four miles south of Ione, it is today the start of the “Pend Oreille Valley Scenic Byway” if you are driving south on Hwy 20 or the start of the “North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway” if you are driving north on Hwy 31.

At this junction is the Tiger Historical Center and Museum, the only remaining building of the once thriving community of Tiger. The store was built in 1912 and served as a general store and Tiger’s post office until 1975. The store was lovingly restored in 1999 and now serves as a visitor information center, gift shop featuring work by local artists & craftsmen, a refreshment stop for drinks, sundries and snacks, and rest stop, recreated forge and a picnic area. The store also houses a museum with artifacts and historical photographs of the early days of Tiger and the Byway area. The store is open from Memorial Day through September, Thursday through Monday, 10 am – 5 pm. A large kiosk on the site has maps and information on the Byway area, available all hours.

The first settlers came to what was to become Tiger in the 1880’s. One of them, George Tiger, established a boat landing on the river. River boats made regular stops at Tiger. Tiger became a flag stop on the new Idaho & Washington Northern Railroad when it reached Tiger in 1909. A number of small mills sprang up around Tiger to process cedar poles and railroad ties. At one point the St. Regis Lumber Company’s drying and shipping yard extended for a quarter-mile along the east side of the railroad tracks. The community grew with businesses and houses lining the street from the riverbank to a half-mile inland. When the Tiger Store was built in 1912, it boasted that 2,000 people received mail at the Tiger Store’s post office.

Eventually the town slid into gentle decline as growing industries in nearby towns attracted its residents to relocate, and the convenience of the roadway travelers enjoy today drew shoppers to the larger towns.