A number of decades passed after Lewis and Clark had come and gone with Sacajawea before James O. Lyle came across

the Columbia River, in 1865, and stopped at Klickitat Landing. Near the mouth of the Klickitat River on property now

occupied by Jim Starr, James Lyle built his first home and he and his family settled here. Others came also, and the settlement

grew rapidly.

When the house first built by James O. Lyle was recently torn down, newspapers dated in 1871 were found attached to the

inside wallboards. James O. Lyle had come from Iowa in 1863, stopping first at Rowena, Oregon, across the Columbia, and

thereafter crossing to make his home in Klickitat Landing two years later.

It is said by Frank Lyle, one of his living sons in the Laurel Community, that another white man, James W. Williamson, then

living at Klickitat Landing with the Indian tribe, that it was from Mr. Williamson that James O. Lyle bought the land upon which

he built his home. However, little else can be discovered about James W. Williamson, other than that he later served for one

month as the first postmaster of Klickitat Landing.

As the settlement grew, permission was sought from the U. S. Postoffice Department for installing a postoffice to handle the

settlers' mail. In 1876, the first postoffice was established in Klickitat Landing, and as said, Mr. Williamson served for one

month as postmaster before turning the job over to James O. Lyle. That first postoffice was located in the Lyle home,

according to Bill White who tore down the ancient structure.

Meanwhile, as trading was done by riverboat, several of the first settlers erected buildings along the riverbank on the

Columbia, near where the Tim Wall residence now stands. A dock was built, and later a ferry landing.

In 1893, Kamma Sorensen Clark and her two sisters and one brother arrived from Copenhagen, Denmark. The oldest of

these was Henrietta, who had married John Kure in Copenhagen. In 1914, the Kures built the old Riverside Hotel, which later

burned. Next was Van who married Edith Clark, and whose son Kenneth formerly operated Sorensen's Cash Grocery in a

building built and operated by the earlyday Tol Brothers.

Kamma married the late Byrd J. Clark, an early settler also related to the Sorensen family. A second sister, Alrona, was

married several times. Van died in the late forties, and Henrietta died at 95, was married to Oscar Mogren of Hood River.

According to Kamma Clark, the postoffice was located, at the time of the sisters' arrival (1893), in the house now owned

and remodeled by the Ernest Hamiltons. The name of the settlement had been changed from Klickitat Landing to "Lyle", in

honor of James O. Lyle who in reality founded the settlement. The postmaster at that time was Mrs. Edith Hensel, who lived in

the same house. Old documents later found on the Henry Leis property refer to that postoffice site as the location of Lyle.

The Sorensen sisters first lived on Fisher Hill, and their only "neighbors" at that time were the Klickitat Indians, still encamped

above the rapids. In that same year came also Adam Hylton, the father of Stanley Hylton who still resides in Lyle.

But as trade on the Columbia increased, numerous settlers moved down near the docks, and eventually the postoffice was

also moved to the present location of the Jesse Jewell home, and the location of Lyle became established there. Still more

settlers were attracted to the thriving settlement along the Columbia, business increased and Lyle soon became incorporated as

a town.

The house first built by James O. Lyle changed hands a number of times, and around the turn of the century was bought by a

Lord Balfour of England who lived there for a number of years and had a retinue of servants, some of them Japanese house

boys. One of the recent owners, Bill White, of this community, tore down the ancient structure.

Meanwhile, Klickitat County as a whole had also grown and the question of locating a County Seat was raised. Several

towns, including Lyle, were lively and vociferous candidates, and the contest narrowed down to Lyle and Goldendale. But at

last, Goldendale emerged victorious, and has developed to its present status as the largest town in the County.

In 1905, it was determined to construct a railroad line between Lyle and Goldendale, along the banks of the Klickitat River.

According to Frank Bradford, the settlers built that railroad themselves, practically "by hand", building up the roadbed, laying

the ties and rails in place. At the Lyle end, the tracks terminated near the riverboat dock where transfers from train to boat

were effected. Part of the old roadbed is still in evidence, there. In 1908, the main Line from Portland was built through Lyle

north of the old town.

Around 1910, two combined sheepsheds were built on the south side of the railroad tracks and operated by a man named

Hopkins, who came from Yakima. About 1915, Art Bohosky purchased Hopkins interest. They had a capacity for 30,000

sheep, which were winter-fed, sheared of their wool in the spring and shipped out by rail to various markets. Lyle became, for

the next decade, an important point in the sheep and wool industry of the Northwest. Later, during the winter of 1921-22, a

heavy snow fell and one of the sheepsheds collapsed. The industry could not survive the loss, and dwindled away. In 1968, the

remaining sheepshed was burned as a public service.

But, at some time after 1912, a tragic and devastating fire occurred in "old" Lyle and many buildings and homes were

destroyed. Rebuilding was done, by mutual consent, to the north of the railroad tracks on Lyle's present location.

River trade still continued but its functions were largely taken over by the railroads. The Song of the Rivers, unabated, now

spoke of changing times, of wars in other lands, and of a new generation arising from the old to continue the life of the town to

which the Rivers had given birth. It was a proud Song, albeit a little sad, as the copper-skinned men drifted away to the

Reservations and the original Pioneers stepped back to let their children carry on the old traditions and establish new ones.

"Old Lyle" was over and gone, reduced to dust and ashes, with the exception of only a few structures which would

themselves also succumb to the ravages of time.