and Historical Society

340 High Street, P. O. Box 9

Lyons, Colorado 80540

303-823-5271

Open: May 1 - October 1


 
 
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Oldest Picture of Lyons - cira 1885. School house on the right.


Historical Society

The Lyons Historical Society was organized in 1973 by Dorothy Paxton who had moved here from Sterling. The organization was started to save the old historic Lyons train depot that was built the summer of 1885 by Mark W. Boyd of Longmont, and owned by the Denver, Utah & Pacific Railroad. It was described as the "handsomest depot building north of Denver" in the newspapers. In 1973 the Depot was threatened to be torn down or taken apart stone by stone and reassembled in another area of Colorado.

Lyons Historical Society 1976

The newly formed Historical Society was not going to allow that to happen, so they proceed to get clear title, put the ownership in the name of the town, and carry out the restoration. The building was nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places and was approved by the National Park Service in December 1974. This building became the Lyons Depot Library until the flood of 2013.

Then in 1976 the 1881 school building was threatened. This time with Mrs. LaVern McConnell Johnson at the helm, the school was saved and was restored to become the Lyons Redstone Museum.

After sanding, cleaning, patching, plastering, painting, refinishing the floors, insulating, grading, sodding, and the installation of a cinderblock wall and a new hearing system, the building has been restored as you see it today.

Funds for restoration have been obtained through extensive money making projects, donations from businesses and friends, as well as the Gates, Ray Lanyon, and Adolph Coors and Boettcher Foundations; the O'Fallon Trust, and Town of Lyons. Labor has been provided by the town, school, and numerous volunteers.

 


RESEARCH:

Lyons Historical Society and Lyons Redstone Museum keep and maintain personal family files, old newspapers, reference books and picture files to help genealogist in their research.

Also, there are many wonderful books about the history of Lyons. Check out our Store page. All are for sale at the museum.

History of the Town of Lyons, from 1880 to present days, including photographs and links.


http://www.rockymtretreats.com/lyons.htm

DEDICATION TO LYONS RECOVERY - THE CLARIFER-Ribbon Cutting-BY LAVERN JOHNSON 9-12-15 As we look at this beautiful Clarifier, we are appreciative of Priscilla and Kathy (have a corsage for them) as well as all others, who had the dream of saving it and making it a structure of Beauty by and for the community of Lyons. We are all proud that it survived the flood two years ago today, and is now a symbol of togetherness and perseverance. We were all very worried about it during the flood, and hoped with all the weight of the concrete, the dirt inside and the tile, that it wouldn’t wash far, or be greatly damaged. A happy day when it wasn’t. We certainly want to thank those with the idea: Confluence Arts Group of Kristine Smock, Cathy Rivers, Candace Shepard, Shelly Gottshamer, and Priscilla Cohan, who in 2004 had a vision to design and build something spectacular with the community, nature, seasons, the movement through time, the trees, with mountains, valley and sky. So with GAP (the generational group with teens), The Golden Gang and hundreds of others, this is what it culminated into over the last 10-11 years! A job well done! We praise all who put in their time and energy through the years; and thank all who helped in anyway. We honor those who started the project-the seniors that made the sun; the kids that painted tile; and all others, and thank those who helped move those heavy loads of tile and the kiln from one location to the other (such as at the town hall; the concession stand in Bohn Park; the Public works building and etc.) Thanks also to all who donated materials. Finally after five years of preparation they moved to the Clarifier to start the years of weekly work totaling 11 years! Reminding us that “all great things are worth doing-even if it takes time” SOME HISTORY: The Clarifier is rightly named, meaning to become clean; in that it was-a waste treatment plant built in the 1950’s, where the 70 years before that we used outhouses. (Some of our lots still have an outhouse; which were again very useful, during the flood-whether on the street corner or in a park). This plant was built on the bank of the river during the winter months; (25 years before the 2nd Avenue Bridge was built). We “oldies” remember the little cart that a person would get in, pull a rope and it would glide across a cable to get over here to “check it out” daily. I especially remember Bill Brackett caring for it for years. It was a great undertaking to build the treatment plant and put in the sewer system throughout the town, up and down each street, etc. We pay tribute to the Sanitation Board in the early ‘50’s: Virgil Rigdon, Ray Cink, O. J. Ramey, George Kelling, Charley Cinnamon, and Mr. LaVerne, who met regularly for many years. When the bonds were paid off. it was turned over to the Town to collect the monthly fee and operate it. As time went by the old plant was outgrown, and the 1980’s the new plant that we use now was built, which was supposed to last up to 3000 people. However, it became antiquated and the brand new one will be finished in a few weeks. Of course, this, too, is paid by grants and a monthly charge of its users. Thus, this drab necessity has become a spectacular piece of beauty. We give thanks, praise, and tribute to all, as we dedicate this beautiful art work at the edge of town. (give them all a big hand!) We will remember this clarifier as ever important to the townspeople for over 30 years, and dedicate it as a lasting piece of art as we face our Recovery. Lyons Strong! I hereby cut the ribbon and Dedicate the beauty, the resilience, the legacy, and Great Spirit to the Future of the Town of Lyons, Colorado.

SOME LYONS HISTORY:
     Evelyn Sabec age 91 of Casper, Wyoming, called the other day, to say she was the great granddaughter of Griff Evans, (who homesteaded where the Planet Bluegrass is now) and who Evans Street is named after.
She states that although she has never been to Lyons, she is interested in her heritage, and hopes to visit sometime this some, as they (husband 92) visit their daughter in Denver.
      She was raised in Jimtown,  Boulder till age 5, and then Casper, where her dad worked for the Armory; 
       LYONS PIONEERS  “Piecing a Town Together” book by Frank Weaver (finished by Denise Berg) shows that he was born in Wales, and came to America in September, 1844, settling in Wisconsin. He married Jane Owen in 1855; and moved to Colorado in the mid-1860’s.  They settled at Estes Park having purchased property owned by Joel Estes, and operated a cattle ranch. The home burned in 1877. 
     Evans was a short, pleasant looking man, good natured, jolly and careless.  He was an expert hunter and had a love for liquor.  He made money, but always seemed to be in debt.  The entire family was musical.
      In July 1874 he had problems with a neighbor, James Nugent, also known as Rocky Mountain Jim ;  both were under the influence.  Griff was brought to trial, which was “discharged on grounds of justifiable homicide”.
      Griff sold out and moved to Lyons in 1878.  There he lived on the Miller Road House at the west edge of Lyons, built by William Sites or John Miller in 1870.
       In 1880 Edward S Lyon arrived in the North St. Vrain Valley and with Griff Evans and his son-in-law, Dexter Smith, started a quarry business, the Evans Townsite and Quarry Company.  (Griff had quarried in Northern Wales).
      The settlement grew around the quarries and later became the town of Lyons.  In 1883 Griff sold the property for $10,000 and moved to Jimtown, were he ran the Evans House Hotel.
       Griff and Jan had eight Children, Jennie, William, Llewellyn, Evan, Catherine (Nell), who married Walter Clemens (Evelyn’s  parents –had six children), Florence, and John.
       Griff died in July 1900 and was buried in Jamestown; Jane died Nov. 1926 and also buried in Jamestown.
        In my day, the Bill & Gladys Hervey family ( Albert C., Wilma L., Virginia L., Melvin L., Waneta, Helen, and Hazel) lived on the property and were known for the large amount of pumpkins they raised;  they all went to school in Lyons (The family later moved up the North St.Vrain Road and named that place “the Cottonwoods”; Hazel Hervey Bagley visited Todd & Rebecca Jacobson-now owners- last summer.  Later it was owned by Walter & Betty Beller (in 1980’s when the house caught fire from a skillet being left on and flames crawled up the wall)  The wood part of the house was burned, but the sandstone saved.
     Francean Ingram Brandt and family lived on the ranch for several years-with a herd of high pedigree horses;  The farm was then sold with plans to raise and sell wildflowers, and later sold (1990’s to Craig Ferguson) who operates the Planet Bluegrass and Wild Flower Concerts

      Good history of Evans Street and Planet Bluegrass. 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO BYRON AND SHARON MCCONNELL – From Lyons old-time families:  Sharon’s family, Charles and  Evelyn Pigeon and family, Lynn- John, Sharon, and Nancy from Westminster, bought Shelly”s Cottages four miles NW of Lyons in 1962, which she operated the motel and  he worked as a electrician.  The girls ice skated to school.  Lynn graduated from Westminster in 1960 and married Gene McCain of Lyons; John graduated from Westminster in 1961 and became an electrician and married Diana Holiday and had four children;; Sharon graduated from Lyons in 1963, and married Byron McConnell, grandson of John & Kate Reese, who homesteaded the farm now Lyons Valley Park in 1862, His siblings are Berene, LaVern, Herbert, Violet, and Sharon,  and Nancy  who graduated from Lyons in 1965 and married David Totten; they have two children.  The family sold the motel in 1963 and eventually moved to Longmont.
   Byron, a Lyons High Graduate I 1963, recently retired as an Electrician and is into restoring his old Coupe and in an Antique Car Club;  Sharon, a 1963 graduate of Lyons is a retired beautician.  Their two daughters are: , Kelly Duff of Silt, computer expert for the Alpine Banks; and Jackie Guntle who lives in Johnson with husband, Tim, also an electrician,  and two sons, Zach and Jase.  Our Congratulations for 50 Years!!!

 

HISTORY:  Todd and Becky Jacobson of Apple Valley Road pleasantly pleased  last Saturday, when Hazel (Hervey) Bagley of Pueblo and son of Ault, Co., stopped by to visit their old home farm.  (They had come to the area for her cousin Bob Hervey’s, from Oregon, graveside service in Longmont) . 
    The Albert and Griselda Hervey family came from Texas to Longmont in 1905, and moved to “The Cottonwoods”, up Apple Valley Road  in 1919 (now owned by Becky and Todd).  Here they  raised Pumpkins for Kuner Empson Canning Company and sold raspberries and vegetables at a roadside stand.  He was later employed as Lyons Town Clerk in 1937-1938, and was Deputy Town Marshall with Floyd Dickinson.  One evening, accompanied by George Blubaugh , they were approcached by  two men at the filling station to the east, and ordered to “Get out of the car”.  Bill immediately shot the hold-up man in the leg, and apprehended them shortly.  Bill also worked during the sugar season, and moved to Littleton, to work in a defense plant during WWII.  They later moved to Arkansas, and back to Longmont, where he passed away in 1964, and she in 1966.  The Hervey’s had eight children, Albert, Wilbur, Wilma, who married George A (Lon) Havens, and had a son George; and later Walter Clinton; Virginia who married Fay Twist of Lyons,  Melvin, who was in the Navy and last is life in Manila, during WWII; Helen, who married Lloyd Mize and is now age 89 and lives in Pueblo; and Hazel, born in 1927, and married Donald Bagley.  They have four children.
     Hazel wondered if the old farm was damaged by the flood, and enjoyed some pictures hanging in the dining room of days gone by, and reminiscing her days in Lyons-with classmates:  LaVern McConnell, Betty Bay,  Marjorie VanPelt, Helen Archie, Joan Kelly, and Gene Mack. The property was sold to Bill and Louise Colt, the son of W. A. Colt, who built the Trail Ridge Road, the Foothills Highway, and the North St. Vrain. Road in 1934.
     Todd and Becky were thrilled at their visitors.