Old West Rurex: Abandoned Crystal Mill in Colorado

The abandoned Crystal Mill and ghost town in Colorado, USA (Image: Pedro Lastra; the Crystal Mill, a forgotten wonder of Colorado)

We’ve demonstrated countless times on Urban Ghosts how forgotten ruins can be eerily beautiful to behold. But seldom is that beauty more perfectly reflected¬†than in the abandoned Crystal Mill at the heart of Colorado. The striking wooden structure, which towers over the pristine waters of the Crystal River near – that’s right – the ghost town of Crystal, was built around 1892 and fell out of use just 25 years later.

Also known as the Old Mill, the historic compressor station is dominated by the wooden powerhouse that overlooks the river. The abandoned structure hasn’t seen use since 1917, before which a water turbine drove an air compressor which in turn powered the mill’s various machinery. It’s been known by other names over the years too, from Sheep Mountain Power House to the Lost Horse Mill.

The Crystal Mill while active back in the 1890s (Image: via Wikipedia; the Crystal Mill while in operation in the 1890s)

The abandoned Crystal Mill today (Image: John Fowler)

The Crystal Mill was built by George C. Eaton and B.S. Phillips to provide power to their business venture, the Sheep Mountain Tunnel and Mining Company. The waterwheel generated compressed air for the area’s silver mines, but fell into abandonment when the Sheep Mountain closed in 1917. Added to America’s National Register of Historic Places in 1985, the abandoned Crystal Mill is without doubt the most aesthetic ruin in this old Colorado ghost town, and remains a popular local landmark to this day.

Keep Reading: Canyon Diablo, Arizona: The Roughest Town in the Wild West

 

About the author: Alex Williams

 

 

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