By Kathleen Spring
Owner Of The Lyons Café For 48 Years
Thousands of people, who have lived in or passed through Lyons, have had a meal at the Lyons Café on High Street. Its proprietor, Marguerite Peoples, 97, recently deceased, made everyone feel welcome and offered
them a home-cooked meal and a slice of one of her famous pies. She liked to say that she was “known the world over” because she would often get people from other countries stopping in for a Great American Meal.
I personally loved her “Blue Plate Specials” which included a full meal, like home-made roast beef, potatoes, and salad on the one plate for a few dollars. During various periods of major construction work near town, she would have the café open 24 hours for the workers. And many Lyons adults remember going there as teens for her hamburgers.
In 2006, Boulder County Business Hall of Fame honored her for her years of service to the Lyons community. The Lyons Café was the longest running business in town, and she would be the first to tell you that true success can only happen through hard work. Trying to pinpoint the day Marguerite retired from working at the café is difficult. She said that she was “getting kind of slow,” and started having family take over some of the duties starting in 2000 and went into “quasi-retirement” about 2006. Her daughter Agnes and granddaughter Kathy ran the café for a few years, eventually serving only breakfast and lunch. After 48 years in operation, her family moved on to other ventures, and the cafe closed for business. The building was later leased in October 2010 to Double Dee Accounting. The trusty old grill, Coca Cola cooler, old-fashion stools, bar, and cash register have all gone into storage.
I met Marguerite in 1998 when I began doing video interviews of Lyons pioneer families. She impressed me with her own hand-written biographies of her family members. She was living in her long-time home along the St. Vrain River with her daughter June and her family, and she was still making some home-made pies and jelly for the café. Being semi-retired, she hoped to travel more and spend time with her nine grandkids, 18 great-grandkids, and five great-great-grandkids. That number would increase to 43 direct descendants by 2011.
Marguerite and I became friends, and I encouraged her to expand her social circle. I drove her to the Golden Gang lunch program, where she was a social butterfly at the monthly birthdays celebration. She next joined my Red Hat group. She always surprised us with her youthful enthusiasm for the outings, like the Benson Sculpture Park and the Denver Botanical Gardens. She always made a big splash with her personally decorated hats, with flowers, bows, ribbons and feathers. People would say that she was remarkable for a woman in her 80s, and I’d delightfully correct them, and explain that she was 97.
She passed away this June and was buried in the Lyons Cemetery. There was a graveside service. Those who wish to be part of a memorial to her can join the Lyons Golden Gang seniors on Friday, July 15,2011 at 12:15 p.m. at the Walt Self Senior Center. Vance French will play some of her favorite happy songs and people can share their tributes to her. Call me at (303) 823-0997 for questions.