Gouge-Eye Legend

Gouge-Eye Legend (HM28UD)

Location: Riggins, ID 83549 Idaho County
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Country: United States of America
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N 45° 25.212', W 116° 18.96'

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Quite a Time Before Riggins

—Salmon River Heritage Waking Tour —

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 the old-timer legend, the vicious fight started in a nearby dance hall and ended up in the yard under the tree. Big Markham's eye was nearly gouged out and the town became known as Gouge-Eye or Gouge-Eye Flat for several years.

The Naming of Riggins
In 1901, Dick Riggins applied to the U.S. Government for an official post office for the community, but the name of Gouge-Eye was rejected because of its violent nature.
Other names, such as Irwin and Clay, were turned down as too common. Finally, the name Riggins was suggested and approved by all to honor Dick Riggins' father, pioneer John Riggins.

Early Watering Holes Swift Justice in Gouge Eye!
Ott's Saloon. In 1898, Ed Ott, who had bought the lot just north of Salmon Street from John Silvers, moved a building on it and opened the second saloon in town. Soon after, Ott hired Bill Duncan to tend his bar. The story goes that Duncan became enamored with Ott's wife, which resulted in a gunfight between the two men. Duncan killed Ott, in what was deemed to be a fair fight.

Duncan was cleared of charges, and Ott was the first person to be buried on the bench overlooking town. Thus began the Riggins Cemetery. The Seven Devils. In 1890, John Silvers built the first saloon in Riggins on his property just north of Salmon Street. In 1897, the building was leased to George Curtis, who opened the first general store in town.
The original structure burned in 1930 and the site was purchased by John Chamberlain and Dick Tipton who built a garage complete with gas pumps. The garage burned in 1934. Chamberlain then built a new saloon, which is still in use today.
In 1947, Walt and Vera Schleicher purchased the business and named it the "Seven Devils." The property has had several owners since, and has housed a variety of businesses, but continues to operate as the Seven Devils today.
HM NumberHM28UD
Placed ByCity of Riggins
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 at 10:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11T E 553514 N 5029858
Decimal Degrees45.42020000, -116.31600000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 25.212', W 116° 18.96'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 25' 12.72" N, 116° 18' 57.6" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)208
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 318 US-95, Riggins ID 83549, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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