Crystal Mill: The River Shack That Helped Colorado Ore Miners

A wooden powerhouse surprisingly without electricity

Crystal River in Crystal
Due to the surrounding land geography, this is a place that is only accessible when it is warm – in spring or summer months. If you know it by the name Crystal Mill, don’t get confused if you also learn that local residents call it the Old Mill or the Sheep Mountain Mill.

Visitors love to take photos of this lovely place on the Crystal River in Crystal, Colorado. If you travel to Colorado, you can visit the place from Highway 82 – the mill is located between Glenwood Springs and Aspen, seven miles southeast of Marble.

So, what exactly is the Crystal Mill?

The Crystal Mill is a wooden powerhouse – surprisingly without electricity, built in 1892.

The valued object has been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

The mill harnessed the Crystal river waters to power the air compressor inside the shack.

The huge compressor ran drills in the adjacent mines located near Sheep Mountain and Bear Mountain.

The drills made holes in the mine walls from which the ore was removed with dynamite.

The mill operation shut down in 1917 and Gunnison and Aspen historical societies helped in its preservation.

The Crystal Mill today stays as an attraction for the city of Crystal.


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