The legacy of Lyles Station, a small community located 4.5 miles west of Princeton, Indiana, began in the early 1840's as a settlement of freed slaves, One of these early settlers, Joshua Lyles, donated 6 acres of ground to the Old Airline Railroad to establish a rail station. In 1886, the settlement was officially named Lyles Station in honor of Joshua Lyles and his contribution.
The town flourished during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, developing into a self-sustaining community of approximately 800 residents. At its peak (1880-1913), Lyles Station consisted of fifty-five homes, a post office, a railroad station, an elementary school, two churches, two general stores, and a
lumber mill. However, the 1913 flood of the Patoka and Wabash Rivers left much of the area under water, marking the start of the settlement's decline. Today, only a few homes remain in the community of Lyles Station but nearly half of the residents are descendants of the original black settlers. Along with
the scattered houses, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a grain elevator, and the schoolhouse are all that stand as a physical reminder of the once-thriving settlement of Lyles Station, Indiana.
However, the spirit of freedom and perseverance which made the town prosper is still very much alive in the hearts and minds of those individuals who have worked to restore the Lyles Consolidated School building. Ground breaking on the renovation project was held in June of 2002 and in May of 2003, the
dreams of preserving the Lyles Station legacy were realized with the opening of the restored Lyles Consolidated School.
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