1882 Tyler NPRR Station
Panorama of Tyler in the early 1900s taken from the top of the water tank across from the Tyler station. The business district is along the old State highway, now a gravel road, a block south of SR904.
Another view of the Tyler station. Note that there are no trees. Early settlers logged off the original forest for building materials. Today a new growth of Ponderosa Pine trees covers the area.
The 1884 Polk Gazetteer listing for Stevens, Washington Territory.
Backstory and Context
The Northern Pacific Railroad tracks were laid through the town of Stevens, as it was known then, in May 1881. The track construction was moving north from the Columbia River to Spokane Falls. The station was erected shortly after.
The Northern Pacific Railway station at the town site of Stevens was named Tyler. There is a story that it was named, as a joke, for a Montana man who had sued the railroad for damages. If that is true, then Tyler does indeed have a unique origin.
For about ten years the little town of Stevens contained the Tyler railway station, then in 1892, the citizens voted to rename the town’s post office to Tyler.
The Tyler railway station was home to a railroad section crew, a water tank across the tracks, and a stock yard.
When Frank L. and Rosella Bunker started a resort at the south end of Williams Lake around 1902, he would pick up guests in a spring wagon from the Tyler depot. Tyler remained a supply and jumping off point to a number of fishing and hunting spots and resorts.
We have yet to discover when the depot closed, but passenger trains no longer stopped there in the 1960s, and at the latest, the depot closed when Tyler's Post Office did in 1974.
Cheney Sentinel 1892
Cheney Free Press 1902; 1974