I first looked in Clark County...No, it was Klickitat
Land records would be at the Assessors office in Goldendale, County seat http://www.klickitatcounty.org/Assessor/http://www.klickitatcounty.org/Assessor/ You can give them a quick scenario and ask how you'd go about getting information on the land.
--But, they don't do genealogy type research.You would have to visit, or find someone.There are volunteers in the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness that do such public record research; but this one is extensive.Read the guidelines first: http://www.raogk.org/washingt2.htmhttp://www.raogk.org/washingt2.htm
The Gifford National Forest "might" have a person that has historic data, but I doubt it.They "might" be able to give some suggestions. http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/about/http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/about/
You might also ask about looking for a death of Jesse.The closeness of the lakes gives a "possibility", walking across the ice in the winter, fishing, on a hike...?
You'd have done better in Clark County...More volunteers.