Crystal Creek Mill, Marble, Colorado

So...I traveled to beautiful Aspen, Colorado to photograph Maroon Bells, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Gorgeous. Soooo I drive up and low and b...
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So...I traveled to beautiful Aspen, Colorado to photograph Maroon Bells, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Gorgeous. Soooo I drive up and low and behold, because of a US govt shut down, the road into the state park was closed. I was furious. I thought on my gosh, I came all this way. So the ranger told me about this little run down shack that I should go shoot. That's it, a run down shack so I thought okay....as I talked to a few around town, they told me it was far far too dangerous to drive back to, even in a rental car with insurance to boot. So I took a 4 wheel drive tour with a old miner looking fellow, called Smitty. Yes, Smitty...terrific man. He was the tour operator and owner. About 75 yrs old, white thick beard and mustache...if you think of an old miner named Smitty, he looks just like you'd imagine. So we hopped into a jeep and he proceeded to narrate the most interesting history about this beautiful area of Colorado, on the back side of Aspen, that is ONLY accessible by 4 wheel drive. There were 2 or 3 vehicles in the deep gully beside where this road was of travelers that misjudged and went too close to the edge. And yes, he knew their names and stories too, dating back to the early 1950's.....we were literally thrown from left to right to left and back again as we made our way over huge jagged rocks and boulders. Scary stuff. And then, it appeared, this beautiful mill.The mill, constructed in 1893, harnessed the river adjacent to the mill to power the air compressor housed inside. Early engineers had built a dam across the river, which funneled water down the vertical penstock (the ladder-like structure) onto a horizontal wheel, which drove an axle in the penstock. The penstock powered the air compressor. In turn, the enormous compressor ran drills in the nearby Sheep Mountain and Bear Mountain mines. The drills were used to bore holes in the mine walls for the placement of dynamite. Once the dynamite was detonated, the miners removed the ore.The mill closed its operations in 1917.
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2 Comments | Report
gk1701 November 06, 2013
Excellent picture and welcome to VB!!
MaryAnne306 PRO+
MaryAnne306 November 06, 2013
Absolutely cool photograph! And a great story.
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