By Kathleen Spring
LYONS – After her years of work for history preservation in her hometown of Lyons, LaVern Johnson has been singled out for distinction by Historic Boulder, which named her as the Preservationist of the Year on Sunday, March 14 at its annual meeting and banquet at the Millennium Harvest House in Boulder.
She was introduced by Margaret Hansen, from Historic Boulder, who focused on Johnson’s distinguished accomplishment in historic preservation: the rehabilitation of the Lyons Redstone
Museum, which is housed in an 1881 school building. The $93,272 grant was received two years ago from the State Historic Fund, but it was no easy task to supervise the construction and collect additional matching funds.
The cost of repairs went up due to inflation, and several deciding parties on the funding and repair of the building left their positions. It took two years of wrangling people and schedules to get the repair of the roof, outside windows and cables done. Estelle Cole, State Historic Fund, stood by Johnson throughout the process. The grand re-opening took place on June 28, 2009 during Lyons Good Old Days.
Johnson fell and suffered a broken femur bone just weeks before the celebration and was in the hospital during the ceremony. But she was able to attend the Historic Boulder celebration with 16 of the people who helped make it happen, including her family.
Marcelee Gralapp, co-president of Historic Boulder, said that when they were choosing the recipients for the year, Johnson was the first name she thought of. “When she grabs on to a cause, she just doesn’t let go,” said Gralapp.
Historic Boulder Inc., founded in 1972, advocates for a myriad of preservation issues, supporting and awarding local people who help restore historic buildings. It also offers educational programs to the public. For information call 303-444-5192.
The Lyons Historical Society supports various history projects throughout the year, and facilitates the Redstone Museum. The museum, 340 High St., was dedicated in 1979 and is open from approximately June 1 to October 1 of each year, seven days a week. For information call 303-823-6692.Back to Top