When Edward S. Lyon, Hiram Sawyer, and Griffith Evans first started quarrying limestone and sandstone, there was no rail line into Lyons. In 1885, the Denver, Utah, and Pacific Railroad built a narrow gauge track into Lyons. That same year, the train depot was built.
Mark W. Boyd of Longmont received the building contract for the depot in the summer of 1885. The building had a simple design: One story, with a bay window. The station agent would have used the window to see up and down the track. The depot’s walls were built out of Lyons sandstone and were 18 inches thick, and the roof was made of galvanized metal. The building was divided into three rooms: a waiting room for passengers, a small ticket office used by the station agent, and a baggage storage area.
The depot was the hub of the community for many years. The trains transported stone, supplies, lumber, and, eventually, tourists. The extension of the train line and the construction of the depot helped boost the town’s economy. By the late nineteenth century, tourists were traveling to Lyons to spend time in the parks. They were also taking the stagecoach from Lyons to Estes Park or to resorts up the north and south Saint Vrain River canyons.
In July of 1908, construction of the pavilion on the east side of the depot began. On July 16, 1908, the Lyons Recorder described it as being “about 16×48 feet, with a roof space of 22×50 feet. It will be a convenience that will be much appreciated by the patrons of the road.” Several local carpenters worked on the pavilion and it was completed that month.
The Lyons Depot closed in 1960, and was put up for sale in 1974. The Lyons Historical Society was formed to save the historic building. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in December of 1974. The Town of Lyons purchased the building, and it was eventually restored through volunteer hours, grants, and donations. It was converted into a library and opened back up to the public in October of 1977.
The baggage claim and freight building was originally located between two sets of tracks going through Meadow Park (now called LaVern M. Johnson Park). After the railroad closed in 1960, the building was moved for private use. In 1984, the building was donated to the library by the Gouge family in memory of their son Jim. A foundation was built and the building was moved and connected to the library through grants, community donations, and volunteer hours. The addition was turned into a children’s reading area.
The 2013 flood damaged the building. Emergency and flood relief grants helped stabilize the structure while volunteers formulated a plan for historic treatment. In the spring of 2014, additional funds were secured to rehabilitate the depot to historic standards. Construction was completed in April of 2016.
The Lyons Regional Library chose to not use the building anymore, and the depot now houses Town of Lyons staff offices.