The Tenom District was officially opened in the 1900s. The first Dearest Officer named M.C.M. Weedon. The opening of the Tenom District by the English began with the opening of Sapong Estate and Meliling Estate. However, according to an archaeological study conducted by T.R William (1962). Dr. Neville (1963) AH Dumbelton and F. Wassey (1984) and Ian Crawton (1980), on several places in Tenom such as the Penotal Gorge and hills in the Crocker Range prove that this area has been occupied since pre history again. In this area are found 'Penukul Batu', a stone used by Murut people to hunt and make clothes. Originally the name of the Tenom District was Port Birch, after the name of Governor E. W. Brich (1901-1904). However the name Tenom came into existence in 1904 following the completion of the railway from Beaufort to Tenomdan Melalap.
The history of Tenom's town in the 1950s had only 8 shop blocks made of wood and roofed with leaves "Daun Rumbia". In the 1960s Tenom's town began to grow, with the number of shops increasing to 9 with zinc roof. In the 1970s a shop block was demolished and replaced with a brick block and a movie theater was built. In the 1980s not much change was made but in the 1990s significant changes were seen with the number of store blocks increasing to 20. In the 2000s Tenom's week continued to grow with the addition of shops from 20 to 24 blocks, 2 market buildings and 2 supermarkets.
Source: Borneo History.
Credit Photo & History: Jubin Kinsil
Get to know the history of Tenom