George W. Tabor Photographs

Film negatives and print photographs of Wallace, Idaho, spanning the 20th century

Contents: About the Collection | About George Tabor | Tech

About the Collection

This digital collection contains film negatives and print photographs of Wallace, Idaho and the surrounding areas between 1890s to the 1960s from the George W. Tabor Photographs collection. The items mostly feature scenes of the town, including events, buildings, members of community organizations, and various (mostly unidentified) people. Also featured in this collection are mining photographs that depict the facilities, equipment, and miners of the Hecla-Star Mine, Sunshine Mine, Lucky Friday, and other mines in the region. The collection also contains many images of disasters that took place in the area, such as airplane crashes, floods, avalanches, landslides, and fires. George W. Tabor inherited the Tabor Store, a general store, from his father, where most of these photographs were either taken by the the Store’s employees or developed in the Tabor Store photograph department.

This collection was given to the University of Idaho from Dick Magnuson, a longtime Wallace resident, local historian, and former Tabor’s employee, in 2003. 1

About George Tabor

George Tabor was born on November 1, 1894. His father, Jesse Tabor, moved from Colorado to Murray, and then to Burke, Idaho. Jesse Tabor eventually opened his first store in Wallace, in 1890 at the West One Bank building site. In 1910, the store moved across the street after a banking firm wanted the property. George Tabor believed the wooden building to be the oldest in town. 2

In 1933, the wooden building burned down and was replaced by a brick structure. The night of the fire, the temperature dropped negative 33 degrees, which resulted in icicles on the building. Because of the Great Depression, banks would not loan money to the Tabors for a new building. However, Jack Van Uden of the Wallace Lumber Company loaned the money needed to rebuild the Tabor Store into a two-story brick building with terra cotta ornamentation.

The Tabor store began as a stationery store that carried some fresh fruit and grew to carry other products such as records and photographs. Later after George Tabor took over, their inventory expanded into home appliances, wallpaper, electronics, and office supplies. George Tabor’s love for photography began young and he was responsible for starting the store’s photography department. His passion for photography has helped preserve Wallace’s past, and his work includes a collection of photographs George took during the Great Fire of 1910. Growing up, George worked at a bowling alley, under the Fuller Hotel building and loved to fish and go camping with his friends and family. 3

In 1917, George Tabor married Lydia Edmiston in Moscow, Idaho. They had a daughter, Jean Tabor, in 1922. George was very involved in the community and was a member of various local organizations, including the Shoshone Lodge, Order of the Eastern Star, and the Wallace Rotary Club.

George retired in 1980 and sold the building to the Lavigne Drug Group. The materials in this collection were found in the basement of the building by the new owners after the Tabor building was sold. George Tabor died on March 5, 1991 at the age of 97.

For more information on the Tabor collection, please see the George W. Tabor Photographs, 1890-1963 finding aid.


  1. Roberts, Carol. Treasure trove of photos found in basement of Tabor building, 

  2. Hanson, Nancy Lee. George Tabor: The life and times of an original Wallace pioneer, Shoshone News Press. 

  3. Hanson, Nancy Lee. George Tabor: The life and times of an original Wallace pioneer, Shoshone News Press. 

Technical Credits - CollectionBuilder

This digital collection is built with CollectionBuilder, an open source tool for creating digital collection and exhibit websites that is developed by faculty librarians at the University of Idaho Library following the Lib-STATIC methodology.

Using the CollectionBuilder-CSV template and the static website generator Jekyll, this project creates an engaging interface to explore driven by metadata.

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Technical Specifications
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