Marble Mill Site Park

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Connects: Gunnison County Road 3, Crystal River, Marble Disc Golf Course, Marble Quarry Road (CR 3C)

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Marble Mill Site Park

Marble ruins at the Marble Mill Site Park

Marble, CO – Historic Site

The Marble Mill Site Park is a 25 acre historic site that is now a park with large marble pillars and remains of the old Marble mill. The Marble Mill Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Removal of marble, artifacts or plants from the park is illegal.

More information about Marble Mill Site Park can be found at:
National Register of Historic Places – Marble Mill Site
Marble Tourism Association – Mill Site

A sign at the site about the Historical Profile reads: (Click to expand)
Marble Mill Site Park

Historical Profile

Touted by many to be the finest in its class, stone quarried in Marble became the perfect choice for structures like the Lincoln Memorial (the entire exterior) in Washington D.C. and the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1905, the Colorado-Yule Marble Company was formed and proved to be the beginning of Marble’s created boom from 1907 to 1916. The mill site was part of an integrated operation of quarry, quarry-to-mill site transport, and the railroad to Carbondale (28 miles away). The mill sites operation was highly mechanized with the stone moving through the complex like an assembly line.

Construction started not later than January 1907 going through several expansions to a length of almost 1,300 feet by the end of 1910. The marble operation was in receivership in July 1916 and bankrupt in 1917. Operations resumed in 1922 but on a much smaller scale with numerous ups and downs. A major fire in April 1925 destroyed Shop 3, Shop 4, Mill B and the shed over the western stone yard (the shed was rebuilt). The marble operation closed at the end of 1941 with the mill site and railroad taken apart in 1942.

Today only two small buildings, concrete foundations and overhead crane pillars remain. With your visitor guide, some curiosity and imagination, walk the grounds of the largest marble finishing facility in the world over 100 years ago.”

The National Register of Historic Places description reads: (Click to expand)
“From the information available to this Writer it is difficult to determine when the mill was constructed on the present mill site. In 1896 the first commercial marble was shipped out of Marble from a small cutting plant set up at the quarry. In 1905 and 1906 the Colorado Yule Marble Company was operating with eight gang saws in the mill which indicates that the mill was constructed between 1896 and 1905. In 1907, the population of Marble was around 250 persons and a larger mill was built.

In 1912, a snow slide came down the mountain south of the mill and across the river and did a lot of damage to the mill. In 1913, the company had a marble wall built on the mill site along the bank of the river to protect the mill from future snow slides. On April 22, 1925 a fire destroyed approximately 900 feet of the mill because the water supply was being repaired and the pressure was insufficient to cope with the fire. The office and company records were saved. Damage was appraised at $531,000 but only $195,000 of insurance was carried making limited rebuilding possible.

On August 8, 1941, a flash flood came down Carbonate Creek through the business section and left businesses and houses full of mud and demolished some. Because of a lack of a market and the high cost of transportation the mill was closed in the latter part of 1941. The rolling stock, machinery, trolley, railroad and company houses were sold to a machinery dealer and everything was moved out by January 1943.

This was the only major source of marble in Colorado. The marble from this mill was used in monuments and buildings. Most of the Lincoln Memorial was made in the marble finishing plant. This includes the 18 marble steps from the granite landing to the Memorial level. The length of the marble steps is 80 feet, 3 inches. There are also two marble inclines. The 36 columns surrounding and supporting the outer portion of the structure and the two in the entrance are made from Colorado Yule Marble. The statue itself is of Georgia marble.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was also made at this mill. When the marble for the Tomb was brought down from the quarry, it took approximately three days to get it from the quarry to the mill. The marble for the Tomb and the base die and cap weighed 64 tons when it was shipped from Marble. From Marble, the Tomb was taken to Vermont where the rougher carving was done. The fine carving was done after it was placed in Arlington Cemetery.”

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Frank S
Frank S
1 year ago

Location of old mill site on map is incorrect

John Proctor
John Proctor
1 year ago

This is an amazing site and so full of history

Posted in Ghost Town, Historic, Marble, Sites Tagged with: ,

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