The discovery of marble in 1873 by Sylvester Richardson created the town of Marble. The marble from this quarry has been used for many famous structures including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D.C. Marble shut down when the overflowing Crystal River destroyed much of the town in and damaged the quarry in 1941. The quarry itself reopened in the early ’90s and is unknown if it is open to visitors. There are still many old ruins that can be explored in Marble such as the Marble Finishing Mill.
Marble is located about 5.9 miles east of Hwy 133 on road 314. A museum is located on Main, west of 3rd street, where information for a self-guided walking tour can be obtained.
Crystal started out as a prospecting camp in the search for gold and silver. The Crystal mill (actually the remains of the hydroelectric generator) is one of the most photographed historical spots in Colorado. Several of the original buildings still stand. Seven silver mines in the area kept Crystal going until the Silver Crash of 1893 nearly shut the town down. Subsequent mining efforts failed which doomed the town.
Just up the road from Marble is the old town of Crystal which is located 5.9 miles east of downtown Marble on Road 314. A sign in Marble indicates that this is a four-wheel drive route and is considered to be one of the most dangerous 4×4 roads in Colorado. Crystal can also be accessed via Mt. Crested Butte ski area north along the Gothic Road. Located in the White River National Forest.