Built in 1903 during the prosperous mining operations at Lyon Mountain, the former railroad station lay in disrepair after nearly one hundred years. Last serving as a neighborhood tavern, owner Ken Gregory offered it up for sale in 1998. Offering the property to the town for a reduced price, concerned citizens rallied to secure the buildings future. AARCH's Steven Engelhart met with interested members encouraging them to list the building on the National Register of Historic Places and begin the process of acquisition and nonprofit organization.
The Friends of Lyon Mountain was formed with the vision of developing the former station into a museum of railroad and mining history, a natural choice to tell the history of the town's legacy. Within two years the group had received a grant from New York State, applied for National Register listing, had secured a large donation of private funds, and incorporated as a nonprofit.
Heritage Days, a series of community events designed to raise awareness about the project and to raise funds, proved a great success. Locals donated artifacts and historic memorabilia to the future museum's collection and is well as donated to the restoration. Additionally, over 110 members contributed to the Friends as paying participants.
Paint analysis and architectural services were provided by Argus Architecture and Preservation and Tim McCarthy, Architect through grant support and pro bono contribution. The station now is stabilized, has a new roof, and boasts it original color scheme. Local craftsman, Rich Douglas, meticulously restored the woodwork to its early 1900s appearance.
The Friends of Lyon Mountain, Inc. and the Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum can certainly be proud of their accomplishments in preserving their community's sense of place through their vision for the future of preserving their community heritage.
AARCH Award 2005
Friends of Lyon Mountain, Inc.
For an architecturally sensitive restoration of Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum in Lyon Mountain