Crystal Mill

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Crystal Mill
Crystal Mill is located in Colorado
Crystal Mill
Nearest city Crystal, Colorado
Coordinates 39°3′32″N 107°6′14″W / 39.05889°N 107.10389°W / 39.05889; -107.10389Coordinates: 39°3′32″N 107°6′14″W / 39.05889°N 107.10389°W / 39.05889; -107.10389
Area less than one acre
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP July 05, 1985
Pictured in 2014

The Crystal Mill in operation, 1890s

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. 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. Today it stands as a Colorado icon.[2] While it is often reputed to be the most photographed site in the state, this is logistically impossible, as compared to easily accessible and heavily visited Maroon Lake, near Aspen.


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[3] at the Lost Horse Millsite, or simply the Lost Horse Mill. Sometimes it is erroneously called the Dead Horse Mill.


The mill was constructed in 1893 by George C. Eaton and B.S. Phillips, promoters of the Sheep Mountain Tunnel and Mining Company.[3] It was built as a power plant for the Sheep Mountain Tunnel.[3] Originally it had a horizontal waterwheel which generated compressed air for miners in the nearby silver mines.[3] 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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Gunnison County". Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Mccollum, Oscar (1996). "Crystal Mill". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 

External links[edit]