Charles Tigard's General Store
The first business in the Tigard area was established in 1884 when Charles Tigard and his mother, Mary Ann Tigard, opened a general store on the southeast corner of what is now McDonald St. and Pacific Highway. Before then, local farmers needed to travel to either Portland or Oregon City in order to purchase their supplies. This was a day long trip with a team of horses and a wagon over rough roads which were not much more than trails.
In 1892 the original store had became inadequate and a new two story building was constructed across McDonald St. The first floor of the store carried everything that local families needed from food and clothing to farm essentials. On the back porch of the store was a large kerosene tank, a necessity in those days as electricity had not yet come out to the farms. A pot bellied stove sat in the back surrounded by chairs, where farmers would gather to talk politics and exchange community news.
The first post office was established in one corner of the store in 1886 when Charles offered to serve as post master without pay for the first two years in order to get the authorization to establish a post office in the area. He named it Tigardville after his pioneer father, Wilson M. Tigard.
There was a meeting hall on the second floor of the building where fraternal organizations met and elections were held as well as community meetings. Charles was a notary public and for a time a Justice of the Peace. He served in the Oregon State Legislature for two terms. Local people would come to him when they wanted to make out their wills or just needed some sound advice.
Charles F. Tigard's two story family home was attached to the store and just across Pacific Hwy was the home of Charles' brother, John Wesley Tigard. The photograph shows the store about 1905. Standing in the doorway are Charles, his wife Rosa and their daughter Grace. On the bench on the right sits Charles' brother John. In 1909 Charles sold the store to his sister-in-law, Anna Pollard. In 1910 Anna married Herbert McDonald and the store became known as McDonald's store. It was operated by them until Mr. McDonald's death in 1955 when the store was sold and torn down.
Charles Tigard's General Store (1905)
More Business Photos and Stories on the Way!
We are very committed to assembling an album that will be a font of information about the many businesses that have made up the Tigard business community through the decades. Studying the businesses that have come and gone is a key to understanding how the Tigard community changed as its needs changed. The Gaarde Blacksmith shop is a business of yesteryear as was the Chicken Coop. Today we have A-Boy, Tigard Cleaners, Davidson’s Casual Dining, and many others.
If you have information or photographs of early businesses in the Tigard area, we would appreciate hearing from you. Call 503 747-9856 or e-mail Valri Darling