EDITOR’S NOTES: With the traditional GOOD OLD DAYS around the corner, we are printing a chapter out of the journal of Marguerite Peoples. She ran the Lyons Cafe for more than 48 years, and was like a “Mother” to many Lyons residents… feeding most of the Town with her home-made “blue plate specials” and her famous daily fresh pies. You could get a whole meal on a plate… the meat, vegetables and salad for $7 in the 1990s! She fed everyone from school kids to construction workers. People came from miles around to eat her pies. — People who have lived in Lyons for 20 years or more will recognize the many names she mentions in her journal. — In 2016 — 16 years ago — she received the prestigious Boulder County Business Hall of Fame award. — Part 1 was published at the beginning of May 2022.
Underline and BOLD are done by the editor. Also items added in parentheses are done by editor to explain where the place is in 2022.
See the ARTICLE about the events/program for June 24-25, 2022 Good Old Days.
REFLECTIONS ON RETIREMENT, April 24, 2006
PART 2 — recollecting the buildings and people of Lyons, from 1970 to 2006, and how things have changed …and Good Old Days beginnings, big flood, schools and trains.
Once in a while, I run into Gene McCain and son, Steve. We find a lot of satisfaction in recalling old time happenings that we participated in. Would you believe that we actually were two Charter Members of the Chamber of Commerce about 1970. Also that a horse show in Meadow Park, on the Fourth of July in 1971 was the event that kicked off Lyons Good Ole Days? How many years has that been going on?
That Fourth of July was a very bad day. It rained and drizzled all day. I was serving iced tea! No amount of added wraps could keep one warm. Andrea (Liermann, Andrea’s German restaurant) put her horse through its paces. I bet she remembers that. I think we had a Ferris Wheel also for fun for the little ones. All I remember was how cold and miserable I was! The event grew and grew, growing larger each year. Now it brags a parade and many booths and events all over town to draw more crowds. One year we even brought in a Clydesdale horse! Now that’s progress!
Meadow Park has changed considerably since then, too. There used to be a swinging bridge across the river (St Vrain River) which ran swiftly from the mountains, almost bank full in the Spring. I remember in 1965 when the two rivers converged and overflowed, tearing out bridges, buildings, trees and banks, both north and south and east of town. Button Rock Dam has halted most of that. Also I think it doesn’t rain as much as it once did! They built the high school and Lyons Valley Park on land that I have seen completely inundated with flood waters, but we still have not needed the Coffin Top Dam, south of town, and evidently have convinced the powers that be of that fact.
Once there was a railroad track coming from the east by the depot, crossing the highway about where the traffic light is and continuing into Meadow Park. In the really olden days, it brought an excursion train from Denver so many people could get away from the big city and spend a wonderful day in the mountains. Sounds wonderful even now. The cement plant had its beginning where the track stopped. Merle McCain was the supervisor and his men were Noel Wood (a town trustee), Nick Brodie, one of the Leiding boys and Charles Burks, my son-in-law. They were some of the first employees when Martin Marietta opened the plant in 1970. It is now Cemex. I don’t remember how long it was before they took up the tracks making a smoother highway.
Sometime later, after a lot of important negotiations concerning ownership and price, etc. we bought the depot and turned it into a library. Later the Gouges donated a small building for an addition to it. Can’t remember where that building came from –somewhere in town. (2022, this was a train ticket booth)
The old senior high school had to be demolished when they built the new one across the river in 1977. However, we waged a battle to save the two story (1881) building for the present day museum. LaVern Johnson was always the ring-leader of these ever going battles, but everyone joined in to help.
I can’t seem to recall what particular important cause it was when we collected so many $1.00 bills, but I remember Chris Angelo, who owned the pool hall (now Cilantro Mary — 2022, currently MainStage Brewing) digging the bills out of her cold steam table containers, in wadded up hands full, I took them home and dumped them out on my bed, straightened them out and counted them. Quite a chore! There were hundreds of them, wish I could remember exactly what we used them for. Something very vital no doubt!
Lyons is no longer the quaint little town that greeted my family and me in the fall of 1962. The population has doubled and the surrounding beautiful scenery has been brutalized by voracious over-building. Maybe it’s a good thing we can’t see so well when age creeps up on us. Maybe we have a feeling that if we don’t look at it, it will with great hope, just go away. Why do people move here because it is such a great little town, and then proceed to change every aspect of it? More people, more housing, more water, sewer and electrical needs, more taxes to pay, more school expense, more police protection and more municipal employees—-but no more jobs for ordinary people, no more affordable little houses, no more income for older people and no more small town atmosphere. What we need are little houses with a garden spot for vegetables and flowers and a yard to mow, plus a few little shops on Main Street. That’s a Small Town!
…………….Love to all, Marguerite 4/24/06
FAMILY HISTORY: Marguerite was born in 1913 in Texas and died June 23, 2011 at her home in Lyons at the age of 97. She was first married to Williams Metcalf and then to Floyd Peoples, and ran the cafe as a widow. Marguerite moved to Lyons in 1962, where she opened the Lyons Cafe, becoming an institution in the town until its closure on June 2, 2010. She loved to travel and was a member of the Lyons Red Hat Society.
Year of Death 2011, Survived by
==daughter: Agnes Burks of Bellingham, WA
==daughter June Stacy (husband Charles, deceased); they lived on Evans Street, facing the river confluence, along with Marguerite; and June is now living in Johnstown with Don and Mona Stacy, as of July 2019.
==sister Louise Parker of Blackwell, OK (now deceased)
==sister Ethel Crane of Missoula, MT. (now deceased)
==She was further survived by 9 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 7 great-great grandchildren, and 4 great-great-great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.
(The two remaining family members who ran the cafe when Marguerite retired were Agnes and Kathy. Granddaughter Kathy Burks is currently living in Berthoud, 2022).
Boulder County Business Hall of Fame 2006
2006 Boulder County Business Hall of Fame Inductees: Top row from left to right – George Heinrichs and Stephen Meer, Stephen Tebo, Jesse Aweida, Dave Hight. Bottom Row from left to right – Vanderlynn Stow and Marguerite Peoples. Photograph courtesy of the Boulder County Business Report.
Marguerite Peoples – Marguerite Peoples purchased the Lyons Café in 1962. Her little enterprise, originally comprised of six seats and two-and-a-half booths, flourished due to her hard work, steadfastness and innovation. Known as “the pie place,” the café treated all comers to homemade pie that she baked herself daily. Personal and professional life blended together in a successful career that continues to this day. Along the way, town government, chamber of commerce and community groups benefited from her wisdom and energy.