Steamboat Mountain is the skyline icon of Lyons, Colorado. This hogback rises above the north end of town and is illustrated here on a January afternoon. It was the high-quality sandstone from the quarries behind Steamboat and adjoining Beech Hill (part of what geologists call “The Lyons Formation” which is considered the hardest sandstone in the world) that put Lyons on the map in the late nineteenth century. Some of the sidewalks in Lyons are still paved with its sandstone. The invention and mass production of concrete greatly decreased the demand for this source of building material. However, many of the buildings on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado as well as buildings in New York and Boston are constructed with Lyons sandstone. Today, it is valued as a durable and attractive building material and is shipped across the country and as far away as Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific.

steamboat mountain002 - 50 pct
Steamboat Mountain, Lyons, Colorado (ink and watercolor)





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