NOW IS THE TIME TO RALLY AROUND AN ICONIC SYMBOL OF THE AMERICAN WEST.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CRYSTAL MILL FOUNDATION
CRYSTAL MILL, which sits precariously on a rocky outcrop over the Crystal River in the Elk Mountains, was built in 1893 as a powerhouse for mining operations. One of the most photographed relics of Colorado’s mining legacy, the structure was built alongside a dam with a waterwheel turbine that helped power mines in the area until 1917. Once home to more than 600 pioneering souls, the nearby town of Crystal is now essentially a ghost town (it does have a handful of seasonal residents).
The nonprofit Crystal Mill Foundation was founded in 2020 to preserve the site for future generations. Though it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, the structure has been privately owned by a local family for six generations. The foundation is working diligently to raise $5 million to purchase and permanently preserve this historic place. Without the necessary funds, the property is in peril of being sold to developers. To donate, go to crystalmillfoundation.org.