2021-07-10

Crystal Mill – Colorado

"Crystal Mill" also known as "Old Mill" is a wooden hydro-generating station and water mill, built in 1892 on the Crystal River in Gunnison County, Colorado, USA. It can be accessed via 4x4 from Marble in Colorado. It is sometimes called a Watermill but it is actually a compressor station. It used water turbines and an air compressor to deliver electricity to the compressor. The original design was a horizontal wheel. The compressed oxygen was used to power machinery and tools.

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Crystal mill
Crystal mill Colorado

Crystal Mill on the Crystal River in Gunnison County, Colorado, Crystal mill colorado elevation is actually a compressor station


Initially, the mill was known as "Sheep Mountain Tunnel Mill", later the name was shortened to "Crystal Mill", although in a society spread, and other names such as "Old Mill ", "Lost Horse Mill", "Old Crystal Mill" and "Dead-Horse-Mill". In 1985, a mill was added to the National Historic Places.

Crystal mine Colorado — In 1880, 0.2 of a mile from the future location of the mill, near the deposits of silver, lead, copper, iron, and zinc miners founded the Crystal City Colorado. Thanks to seven working silver mines, by 1886 the population of the city, which housed two newspaper offices, two hotels, salons, a billiard room, a hairdresser's, and a men's club, reached 400 people. In 1893, employees of the Sheep Mountain Tunnel and Mining Company, George S. Eaton and B. S. Phillips, built a mill as a power generating station for the Mount Thorn Tunnel, which in the same year, in the midst of the Silver Panic, went into operation.

The basis of the mill mechanism was a horizontal water wheel, from which a drive shaft extended to a gear wheel connected by a leather belt to a compressor located in the front of the building. In this way, the power was mechanically transferred to the compressor. A compressor compressed the air and fed it through a three-inch iron pipe across the river to the base of Mount Thorn, and then into a tunnel that stretched more than 1,500 feet into the mountain. The compressed air not only served to ventilate the mine, supplying the miners with the silver the mine inside the tunnel but also provided energy for the pneumatic tool to drill holes in the mine, in which dynamite was laid to undermine the rock. The restroom is also available for the attendant at the rear side of the Crystal mill Co.

As the Crystal mine Colorado began to produce quality ore, a crush was built nearby to crush the rock. It consisted of three huge logs fastened into a single block, which were lifted and thrown onto the rock. The crush was also connected to the watermill by a 12-inch belt that propelled the crush. It should be noted that power generators have never been used at Crystal Mill Colorado.

The Crystal mill wooden powerhouse construction raise the level of the river. In the first spring flood, the dam was washed away. The mill was rebuilt, but the dam was washed away again. As a result, a water intake was built much upstream, and water was supplied to the wheel through a long wooden gutter.

The Silver Panic almost devastated the city, and by 1915 only eight people were living there, and later Crystal became one of the ghost towns. In 1917, the Crystal river mill stopped working due to the closure of the mine. In 1934, several volunteers, taking into account the recommendations of the engineer, installed supporting structures inside the mill to keep the building from the danger of falling into the river. The mill was saved from destruction by the historic societies of Gunnison and Aspen by undergoing restoration work with government grants in the early 1980s, but the dam system and pressure turbine have not survived to this day.

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Crystal mill Colorado
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Crystal mill Colorado camping — The mill is located on a stone ledge, hanging over the waterfall of the river Crystal, 3.7 miles south-east of Marble in the county of Gunnison on Highway 82 between the towns of Glenwood Springs and Aspen, in the state of Colorado, USA. The city of Marble is famous for the fact that marble was mined at its quarries for the construction of the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument.

Crystal mill Hike — The mill is currently private property and is closed to the public. It is one of the most scenic, famous for colorado mills photography, it is one of the most photographed place in Colorado. The location of the mill is a popular tourist route for hiking, mountain biking, and jeep, kayaking on the river. 

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The Beautiful Crystal Mill, Crystal, Colorado | Video
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