The Lyons Regional Library has a rich and storied history, but one thing has always been true: Lyons’ residents have always loved, supported, and actively used their library.
A Brief History of the Lyons Library
- 1885 — The Lyons train depot was built using local red sandstone. Lyons became an important railhead for shipping sandstone and gold ore and was also used for tourism. The depot operated until the 1960s.
- Late 1970s — The community pooled efforts to transform the abandoned building into the Lyons Depot Library. The town council helped resolve the complex ownership dispute while the Lyons Historical Society spearheaded a fundraising drive. Much of the money for the purchase of the building came from bake sales! Residents cleaned up the site, obtained grants, and did restoration work. Graffiti over 100 years old was discovered behind boarded walls. An interior sandstone wall near the checkout desk shows the marks of the masons’ tools. Functioning, historic rolling doors opened the space up and allowed for special indoor-outdoor programs. The Longmont Pioneer Museum returned the original station identification sign, which was placed inside.
- Oct. 18, 1977 — The Lyons Depot Library opened with a 1,500 book collection and no heating or cooling system. Red sandstone heats and cools slowly, so the building interior was often either very, very cold, or suffocatingly hot. Until the Town was able to afford heat and air conditioning, staff and patrons had no difficulty imagining what it was like living in the 1880’s!
- 1980s — The original wooden luggage annex was located and reattached to the depot, doubling the size of the library.
- 2005 — An original Lyons railroad depot bench was donated to the library by the Tisone family.
- 2006 — The family of F. LaVerne Johnson donated a historic railroad baggage cart located on the west lawn of the Depot.
- September 12, 2013 — A terrible day for Lyons and the region as powerful flood waters destroyed many homes and severely damaged roads and buildings, including the Lyons Depot Library. Many library materials were destroyed, and everything else was placed in a storage pod for safekeeping. For a few months, the library was temporarily located in the tiny Visitor’s Center building in Sandstone Park. Despite the limited size, the library was able to offer a significant collection of materials, along with internet stations, interlibrary loan, and even story hour, Lego building club, and more.
- April 2014 — As renovations continued at the Depot building, the library moved again to a storefront at 405 Main St. This larger space provides much more space for materials and services.
- Now — The Depot is currently being carefully repaired, preserving its historic designation, and will some day soon be home to Town administration offices. Meanwhile, a brand new, larger library is being planned and designed to serve the present and future needs of Lyons’ residents.
Words cannot express enough thanks to the dedicated Town and Library staff and community volunteers who have continued a long legacy of support for our unique Lyons Library.