Lyle Twin Bridges photograph courtesy of David Lloyd www.dlimageworks.com
Carefully stowed in the corners of many old time Lyle residents’ homes are historical artifacts. These emblems – articles, utensils, homesteading papers, agricultural records, tools, and books – tell the historical story of this quaint town that rests on the Columbia River.
It was a dream of these long time community members to have a museum that housed their memorabilia. In September of 2005, resident and Community Council member Terry Mills proposed that he and other community members open a small historical museum in the decommissioned school building on Highway 14. While many of the town’s original buildings have been demolished for various reasons, the usage of the 1949 school house is relevant for its significance as a place of learning for the local community.
Soon there after Mills’ preposition, he and seven community members created by-laws and formed a Washington State Non-Profit Organization. The Twin Bridges Museum was born.
Over the past four years, several Lyle family descendants have visited and donated family artifacts; among them, Bibles, jewelry, photographs, and even a Civil War sword.
The Museum is located in the former church at the intersection of Klickitat and 4th Street. We have a thriving collection that has grown exponentially over the course of the past 8 years. Some of our memorabilia includes, but is not limited to:
Tools, identified and unidentified, that span a small room, from local farms and small businesses. Eagle feathers, leather moccasins, and historic photographs of Celilo Falls, on loan from Hereditary Chief of the Klickitat Indians, Wilbur Slockish. An antique wooden washing machine sits along side glass washboards and plungers. 100-year-old newspaper clippings and photographs of lumber mills, sheep sheds, former businesses, salmon fishing, and the old train depot. Extensive history on Columbia Grange #87, the oldest active Grange Society in the state of Washington. A small library containing Bridge of the Gods written by the early 1900s writer, Frederick Homer Balch, whose family were pioneers in Klickitat County. Photographs of the Convict Camp that was located in Lyle to house convicts that were brought to build the first road through this area in 1910/11 on loan from Maryhill Museum.
Our collection continues to grow, as does our knowledge of the history of this community. We are eager to share our history with you – updates of our collection, oral history from community members, and relevant news will be posted bi-monthly on “Our History Blog,” located at the top of this Menu.