In 2003-04 when Raul Vasquez and his sons were renovating what would become the "Outlaw Saloon," they did not want to destroy two murals that had been painted in the corner of the dining room of the restaurant some time ago. They recognized these paintings, one of a quarry scene and the other of the 1881 School House, to be important in the history of Lyons. They cut out the
sheetrock and donated the painted pieces to the Lyons Redstone Museum.
Since then, museum staff have tried to identify the artist. We recently pried back the wooden frames and discovered what appeared to be the signature: "M. Ford '81." We contacted Mrs. Frankie (Sanford) Phillips, who along with her husband Robert as well as Ernie and Myra (Morgan) Simkins, had owned the popular Foothills Restaurant in 1981. She informed us that she and Aunt Jean Rhynalds commissioned Mart Ford to paint two murals related to Lyons' history. She mentioned that Mart still lives in Longmont. And so, the search began. Once found, Mart was amazed to find out that his first air brush murals were still around and on permanent display in the museum.
To learn more about Mart Ford, his ties to Lyons, his career as a graphic artist, and passion and talent for air brushing hot rods and motorcycles, stop by 340 High Street. The Museum is open through October 2nd, Monday - Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Sundays, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Case closed.