Saturday afternoon was a time to celebrate the history of Lyons and the people who call the small mountain town in western Boulder County home.

The message shared by each of those speaking during the Lyons Good Old Days event on Saturday was one of heritage and community. It was a message the town’s matriarch LaVern Johnson would have supported with enthusiasm had she been there to hear it.

Jerry Johnson talked about the history of how his mother, LaVern Johnson, and the Lyons Historical Society saved the 1881 school building from demolition and created the Redstone Museum. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Johnson, who died in May, worked to save the old schoolhouse now home to the Lyons Redstone Museum by arranging a 20-year lease agreement between the school district, the town and the Lyons Historical Society.

“This museum, which I call her museum … was truly the love of her life,” former Lyons Mayor Nick Angelo said. “She thought — and I think she was correct — that we need to know where we come from. We need to know, to not lose our soul, to be proud of our heritage.”

Her son Jerry Johnson couldn’t agree more. He recalled the time when his mother broke her femur in a fall outside the museum but still made sure to pass along the check that covered the final museum restorations.

LaVern Johnson is photographed with a painting of herself during the 2019 Lyons Good Old Days. (Photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
LaVern Johnson is photographed with a painting of herself during the 2019 Lyons Good Old Days.(Photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

“Although she must have been in shock, she was still concerned about the Lyons Redstone Museum,” Johnson said, choking up.

“My mother was relentless in her support for her family and her beloved town of Lyons,” he added. “Thank you, mom, for all you did for all of us. We will continue to preserve the history of the town of Lyons and its residents like you have done for decades.”

Saturday’s event outside the museum included conversations about the history of Lyons and its progression as well as a recognition of Lyons High School graduates from 1970, 1971 and 1972. Further, the graduating teenagers whose families have been in town for more than 50 years were celebrated.

The event was one of several scheduled as part of the town festival, which returned this year for the 46th time.

In addition to the historical presentation and subsequent museum open house, the annual Lyons Good Old Days included a free concert and a bench dedication for U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Mickey Hawkins, a Lyons High School 1969 graduate who died in Vietnam.

While those who spoke Saturday emphasized the importance of home, they also acknowledged the certainty of change.

“No place stays the same. The trees are the same. The ground is the same. The rocks are the same,” Town of Lyons Trustee Paula Williams said. “But the people change. The place changes. Lyons has changed so much since 2013.”

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Deborah Swearingen
2022-06-26 02:02:19
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