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Lyons History

In the 1860s, when population growth in the mountain areas around Boulder began to boom as new gold camps drew thousands of people, many discouraged miners were leaving the mountains to settle into farming areas along creeks like the St. Vrain. The area near present-day Lyons had ideal farming conditions; in 1880, Edward S. Lyon from Connecticut settled into the area. He returned east to sell shares of his 160 acres of durable, salmon-red sandstone, which was in high demand for building at the time, and two years later, the town was platted.

In 1881, Lyons officially became a town after Thomas G. Putman bought and resurveyed the town. The same year, the Town’s first main building was built as the red sandstone schoolhouse, which has been preserved and stands today as the Lyons Redstone Museum. In the early 1900s, cement began to replace sandstone as a building material and the town’s population dropped to half its size. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Lyons brought new residents, particularly commuters, as employment opportunities grew in neighboring cities such as Boulder and Longmont.

Today, Lyons is sometimes referred to as the “Double Gateway to the Rockies,” and is known for its unique art, major folk and bluegrass music festivals, and mountain recreation.