The Crystal Mill

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The Crystal Mill, or the Old Mill is an 1892 wooden powerhouse located on an outcrop above the Crystal River in Crystal, Colorado, United States.

It is accessible from Marble, Colorado via 4×4. Although called a mill, it is more correctly denoted as a compressor station, which used a water turbine to drive an air compressor. The compressed air was then used to power other machinery or tools.

Names :  In the 21st century, the mill is usually called the Crystal Mill or the Old Crystal Mill. Many decades ago, when the mill was still in use, it was called the Sheep Mountain Power House at the Lost Horse Millsite, or simply the Lost Horse Mill. Sometimes it is erroneously called the Dead Horse Mill.

History : The mill was constructed in 1893 by George C. Eaton and B.S. Phillips, promoters of the Sheep Mountain Tunnel and Mining Company. It was built as a power plant for the Sheep Mountain Tunnel. Originally it had a horizontal waterwheel which generated compressed air for miners in the nearby silver mines. It fell into disuse in 1917 when the Sheep Mountain Mine closed. The mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 5, 1985.

Access : The Crystal Mill site is located just outside the tiny town of Marble, CO. Drive through the town, past Beaver Lake, you’ll see mailboxes on the right and the parking is on the left. You’ll see a sign for the town of Crystal, follow the left-most trail.

consider : hike it’s an 8.2 mile out and back , 6-8 parking spots at the trail head , water for a full day, snacks, layers and a camera , There are no signs,It is accessed by a road that requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle, a sturdy pair of boots, a mountain bike or a horse.Most people visit in summer or early fall , one of the most photographed sites in Colorado , Seven miles southeast of Marble.

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