|Logo:||"Double Gateway to the Rockies"|
||Lyons Elementary School
Lyons Middle and Senior High School
|Utilities:||Water – Provided by City of Longmont
Electric – Provided by the Town of Lyons
Gas – Provided by Xcel Energy
Waste water – Provided by the Town of Lyons
Telephone – Provided by CenturyLink
New Resident Information:
A Brief History of Lyons
(By Lyons Historical Society –"Lyons: The Town Below The Cliff")
In the shadow of Longs Peak all nestled in "as snug as a bug in a rug", lies the town of Lyons, Colorado. It is the town below the cliff. "The Double Gateway to the Rockies" – the land of the Lyons sandstone, truly in "Red Rimrock Country".
At an elevation of 5374 feet about 1915 people call it home. So many residents are employed out of town that we are sometimes referred to as a bedroom community.
The early history of Lyons tells us the Indians were the first settlers. Different tribes wandered in and out of this valley. Shoshones, Pawnees, Cheyenne's and the Crow Indians hunted through this area, but the Ute and Arapaho tribes lived here.
As early as 1861 the first white settler came to stay and others soon followed. Some were disappointed gold seekers and others came to better their health in good old Colorado sunshine.
The United States government had the boundary line to range 71 surveyed in 1870 and range 72 was surveyed in 1874. E.S. Lyon and his wife Adeline came to this area in 1880 from Putnam, Connecticut, following the advice of Mr. Lyon's doctor. In 1882 the town was platted and named (after E.S. Lyon0 but it wasn't incorporated until 1891. It didn't take long to discover the potential of the sandstone and soon quarries were doing a booming business.
In 1884 the Denver, Utah and Pacific Railroad built a narrow gauge track into Lyons to ship the sandstone as far east as Chicago and New York to be used on their brownstone houses. Sandstone was used as rubble for railroad ballast, flagstone for sidewalks and curbs and gutters. Many of the beautiful buildings that grace our Colorado University Campus at Boulder are built with Lyons sandstone, as well as many other buildings elsewhere.
Over the hogback to the east of Lyons more quarries developed, known as Beach Hill and Noland. The town of Noland had a history all its own until concrete hit the scene and today very little remains of this one-time-jumping community. But in its heyday it was serviced by the Lyons Tower Stone Railroad, Stone Mountain Railroad, Noland Land and Transfer railroad – all being the same railroad.
The Union Pacific built the wide gauge railroad into Lyons. The Burlington & Missouri, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Burlington Railroads have served the Lyons area. At one time Lyons was an important railhead not only for shipping sandstone but for shipping gold ore as well. The Smuggler and Golden Age Mines up the south S. Vrain canyon were good producers of their day.
The town is serviced today by the Burlington Northern Railroad. Stone is still being shipped by rail and also rock from the Andesite Rock Co. located up the South St. Vrain Canyon.
The largest industry in the area is the Martin Marietta Cement Western Division (now CEMEX) just east of Lyons. Cattle raising and farming are still prevalent in the area. The health resorts that used to draw many to this area no longer exist. Some have been converted to motels or resort areas for the many tourists on their way to Estes Park and points beyond. Lyons is proud to claim the title of "The Double Gateway to the Rockies," as it is the junction of the North St. Vrain Highway 36-66 and the South St. Vrain Highway 7 – either of which leads to Estes Park. The Highways are named after the rivers of the same name – so named after Ceran St. Vrain, an early day trader.
Many a business continues in the area and the Lyons of today is noted for its antique shops where people come for miles around to collect a part of the past that has been of interest to us all.
Lyons was designated a Centennial-Bicentennial Community on July 4, 1975 and the restoration of our Depot (built in 1885) was our Bicentennial project.