Along the Aspen Marble Detour IN PICTURES with Video

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Mount Sopris is located in western Pitkin County, south of Carbondale and southwest of the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers. Mount Sopris is notable for having two summits, East Sopris and West Sopris, that are one-half mile apart and have the same elevation of 12,965 feet. Wikipedia.

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Redstone was established in the late 19th century by industrialist John Cleveland Osgood as part of a coal mining enterprise. Osgood’s coal empire also spurred construction of the Crystal River Railroad and Redstone’s historic dwellings.  As an experiment in “enlightened industrial paternalism,” Osgood constructed 84 cottages and a 40-room inn, all with indoor plumbing and electricity, for his coal miners and cokers, as well as modern bathhouse facilities, a club house with a library and a theater, and a school.  Most of these Craftsman-era Swiss-style cottages are still used as homes.  Wikipedia.

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By 1899 the economy had improved. Osgood and CFI were able to build first the coke ovens, and then the company town of Redstone. Architect Theodore Boal designed small wooden cottages for the coke oven workers with running water and electricity, then luxury items rare in most Colorado mining towns.  He adapted various contemporary architectural styles, particularly the Swiss chalet style, to the mountain setting.

For himself, Osgood had reserved and fenced off 4,200 acres, to which access was controlled by two gates.  He had Boal design the mansion, which like the Redstone Inn to the north, then a dormitory for unmarried mine workers, used elements of the Tudor Revival style in addition to the Swiss Chalet forms.  Originally intended to be a hunting lodge, as both Osgood and his Swedish-born wife, Alma, were avid outdoor sportspeople, Cleveholm or ‘Redstone Castle’ was completed in 1903 at a cost of $2.5 million.  Wikipedia.

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The Town of Marble was first incorporated in 1899. Marble remains a statutory town of the State of Colorado today. The town is the location of a historic Yule Marble quarry along the mountains that began operations in the late 19th century, and from which the town draws its name. It has been used for the Tomb of the Unknowns, as well as for parts of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and civic buildings in San Francisco. It was also used for the construction of the Equitable Building, a historically important early skyscraper in New York City.  The marble of the quarry is considered to be of exceptional quality, praised as one of the purest marbles ever quarried and a rival to classical Italian and Greek marble. It is nearly pure calcite marble with minor inclusions of mica, quartz, and feldspar, and has irregularly shaped calcite grains ranging from 100 to 600 micrometers in diameter.  According to physical tests of the marble, its strength is comparable to marble typically used in building construction.

The quarry has enjoyed a renaissance since its acquisition in 2004 by Polycor, a Canadian-based dimension stone company, and subsequent sale to Italian group R.E.D. Graniti S.p.A.  In spite of significant transportation costs, this high-quality stone is now exported in large quantities to Europe and Asia for transformation and use throughout the world, as well as being sold into the US market.  In the late 20th century and the 21st century, Marble has become a summer tourist destination.  It is also the gateway to the nearby Crystal townsite.  It is the site of the Marble/marble sculpting symposium held every summer since 1988.  Seven sites within Marble have been listed on the National Register of Historic PlacesWikipedia.

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The Colorado Yule Marble finishing mill and marshaling yards were once the largest of the kind in the world.

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Somewhere, in there, deep in the trees, nestles the town of Marble, Colorado.

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And right there, four miles up a mountain road, on the mid to upper right-hand side, sits the magnificent Colorado Yule Marble quarry, a true legend in the marble quarrying world.

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This is as near to the quarry as we can get however because, in following Federal MSHA Law, Colorado Stone Quarries do not let anyone anywhere near their theater of operations.

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McClure Pass, elevation 8,769 ft., is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of western Colorado in the United States.  The pass is located along the boundary between Pitkin and Gunnison counties, in a gap at the western side of the Elk Mountains south of Redstone. It separates the headwaters of the Crystal River (a tributary of the Roaring Fork River to the north) with the headwaters of the North Fork Gunnison River (south).  The pass is traversed by State Highway 133 between Carbondale and Paonia, providing the direct route between the Roaring Fork Valley and the North Fork Valley.  The pass is not especially high and is generally open year round, closed only during heavy snowstorms.  The approaches are fairly steep on each side, with an 8% grade.  The approach is smooth on the south side, as the road overlooks Muddy Creek above Paonia State Park. The approach on the north side has one large switchback overlooking the valley containing the town of Marble, ColoradoWikipedia.

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Along the Aspen Marble Detour IN PICTURES with Video

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thanks for visiting martincooney.com

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