Nancy Gruber

Soon the Lawson Farm ruin will get some sprucing up.  The Town has committed to mowing and renewing the neglected spur trail to the farm home site.  Sometime soon thereafter a historical marker will also be placed along the Spine Trail that it connects to just North of Vista Parkway in the open space adjacent to the Vista Point subdivision.

The following is a reprint of an article about the Lawson Farm that appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2006. Now those who live in Vista Pointe along Lawson Avenue will be able to attach some local history to their streets name.

ERIE - The tiny stone frame is all that`s left of the Lawson homestead, which easily could fit inside the bathrooms of many of the new single-family homes that now surround it in the Vista Pointe subdivision.

Its small size, however, doesn`t mean it`s overlooked by its new neighbors. A trail that now bustles with cyclists and dog walkers next to Coal Creek has a spur leading to the structure, and it`s not rare to find people standing inside the 3-foot tall walls and peering west at the breathtaking vista of the Front Range.

"Can you believe that used to be a house?" Lloyd Lawson said with a chuckle this week. 

It was his great-grandfather, Pete Lawson, who farmed wheat and barley and grazed cattle on the Dryland Farm that once called the space its home. He built the roughly 12-foot-by-12-foot home and raised a family in it. 

"It`s kind of neat they preserved it," Lloyd Lawson said. "It`s been just four stone walls for quite awhile." 

The town worked with developers to preserve the homestead and even made sure it could be accessed by some of Erie`s newest residents so they could appreciate the town`s history. 

The homestead remained intact until vandals burned the roof in the mid-1950s. 

Two streets in Vista Pointe also carry the Lawson name. 

Pete Lawson moved to Erie from Nebraska in 1919, and bought 350 acres from the Burlington Railroad for about a $1 an acre, said his grandson Ken Lawson, Lloyd`s father.The prairie land was unyielding.

"They broke sod with horses," Ken Lawson said. "There were clay stones, sandstone outcroppings, certain areas you couldn`t cultivate at all." 

But more valuable were the minerals that rested deep beneath the soil, something Pete Lawson was smart enough to retain the rights to. 

"You can be a really successful farmer with an oil well in your backyard," Ken Lawson said. 

Pete Lawson eventually moved his family to Lafayette . But his son Leonard Lawson, Ken Lawson`s father, continued to farm the Erie land until the early 1970s.

Ken Lawson remembers searching for American Indian arrowheads, which were especially easy to find after a good rain shower. 

"In fact, I think we still have some," he said. 

Contact Camera Staff Writer Christine Reid at (303) 473-1355 or reidc@dailycamera.com.