Spectacular New Delta Colorado Yule Marble Fabrication Plant Nears Completion

First Glimpse of the Colorado Stone Quarries New and HUGE Fabrication Plant in Delta, Colorado Takes My Breath Away

Believe me, there can be no doubting that our beloved Yule Marble Quarry is in safe hands now 

Just wait until you see these pictures, you wont believe your eyes!

But before we admire the new fabrication plant I think a little historical precedent may be in order here, as few people that I have met have any idea of the long, long struggle that Yule marble has endured to reach this point 

Colorado Yule Marble may be found only in the Yule Creek Valley, three miles southeast of  the secluded Rocky Mountain town of Marble, Colorado, 9,300 feet above sea level. It was discovered in the spring of 1873 by geologist Sylvester Richardson.  In the same year, an unknown person selected several samples of marble and took them to Denver, but for whatever reason failed to generate much in the way of genuine (moneyed) interest.  The marble duly became lost again, only to be rediscovered under obscure circumstances 10 years later by George Yule.

At various times in its storied history this noble quarry has risen to the heights of achievement; such as supplying the building stone of the Lincoln Memorial ahead of schedule and on budget – much to the amazement of all – and succumbed to a string of bankruptcies that has plagued the venture on an almost continuous basis.  Or so was the case as recently as 2011, when the gods at last smiled on the little quarry that could and Italian marble giants R.E.D. Graniti created the Colorado Stone Quarries company to steer the plucky little quarry in at last reaching its full potential; firstly by totally revolutionizing the quarry itself by scrapping all existing equipment and replacing it with only the latest biggest, baddest and best equipment on the market, then punching in three new portals in order to reach new veins; and now by constructing the truly spectacular fabrication that you are about to see.

For more information regarding the Colorado Yule Marble quarry, the astounding quality of the marble and a time line of its history please click here or on the About Colorado Yule Marble tab at the top of the page.

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So why did Colorado Stone Quarries choose Delta for their new multi-million dollar investment?  Well I certainly did wonder myself when I first heard that an old lumber yard near Delta had been selected over similar sites near Riffle, right there on I-70 with direct access east and west to all the major markets; which is why my wife Kris, my son Joseph and I set off to find out on Sunday. Why Delta?

PLEASE CLICK ON A PHOTO TO ENLARGE

It’s now a little known fact that at one time the tiny town of Marble, Colorado, indeed boasted what was the largest marble processing mill in the entire world.  And even now if you go to the tucked away mountain town way up in the Rockies you can still trace the remains of this most splendid facility.  Just what it would have become had it not been plundered for its metal at the outbreak of World War two is anyone’s guess.  But with its wanton destruction the Yule marble quarry was to lay empty and abandoned for four decades – filling up with water in the process, and for all it seemed to the locals at the time that was surely the end of that.

So, why Delta and not a site right on Interstate 70? Let’s take a look at the various terrain these massive blocks of pristine white marble will have to take in order to reach their sparkling new fabrication plant.  Had they chosen the Riffle location they would simply have had to hop on Highway 133 for a short trip over to Highway 82 at Carbondale, then a left down to Glenwood Springs and from there left again and on to any one of a number of I-70 communities that would, I’m sure, love to host such a well financed and lucrative operation as CSQ’s new state-of-the-art marble processing facility.  Going the other way, west along 133, means hauling all that heavy marble straight up McClure pass then down along the rather winding but super well maintained country road to the very edge of the Rocky Mountains and out a little way onto the Colorado high desert plains.

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Having navigated McClure Pass many times I can only imagine the formidable challenges this steep but straight climb poses for the drivers, especially in wintry conditions, but I am sure that they would rather face McClure Pass going up, as they do, rather than coaxing such large loads down the darn thing.  But once they have cleared what I see as the most formidable challenge on this route, and crested the curve at the top, I imagine the drivers consider the task of reaching Delta as a sweet gentle downhill cruise given the usual lack of traffic and strong well maintained roadbed; for apart from the odd ripple of a ridge these heavy loads I am sure can largely rely on gravity to glide them down to their destination with little to strain the transmission and gears.

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Given the odd juxtaposition the marble makes on the landscape I suspect the sight of Colorado Stone Quarries new and almost complete fabrication plant must raise a few eyebrows on those travelling along nearby four lane highway.  For even though I knew exactly what I was looking at and I fully expected to see rows of gleaming white blocks of marble, I too found myself staring in disbelieve – though not at its very existence out here – if you will forgive the expression – in the middle of nowhere; for it is surely the only marble quarry of its kind for hundreds (indeed thousands?) of miles in any direction; nope, I was staring in amazement at the sheer size and scale of it all.

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Of course, if you know what you are looking at it is all perfectly straight forward: “My, it’s an Italian marble processing plant, right here in the high desert of Colorado” you’ll say to yourself.  But just what the majority of people may think or say I cannot imagine; however the whole thing makes a quite spectacular sight indeed for those of us in the know as it were.  During my travels around the Carrara marble country in north west Tuscany I spied a great many of these gargantuan mobile cranes – even going so far as to document my amazement at their nimble use by the experienced and expert marble movers with my post Moving Marble Block Italian Style.

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Imagine then my surprise and delight when I first set eyes upon this familiar and magnificent example of Italian marble moving ingenuity.   This baby will pick up and haul around blocks of whatever size and load them in short order.  I can still recall the strangely eerie rumbling sound they made as they went busily about their work running up and down their tracks, with the sound of all that metal moaning and groaning under the strain – very atmospheric in fact, and very, very cool.

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The plant is accessed by rail, with the line branching off the nearby busy looking track and curving directly into the loading yard.  I have heard reports that this strategic advantage significantly induced the Colorado Stone Quarries management to take a closer look at this particular site.

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Along the highway at the other end of the plant stands the main entrance where trucks access the truly immense loading yard.

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Just to the right of the gate stands the fabulous looking brand new fabrication plant – isn’t she a beauty ?

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To be honest, never did I imagine that such an enormous project was underway, for when I first learned that a new marble fabrication plant was under construction – and with the perception that the site was a former retail lumber yard, as I had heard was the case – it put me in mind of something perhaps far humbler than this gloriously ambitious building.

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And when I hopped up atop of their rocky berm surrounding the fence I was delighted to set eyes on their two marble dust settling ponds – very impressive, indeed This will certainly ensure that not a speck of marble is released into the local water system; just as the careful environmental practices embraced by Colorado Stone Quarries up at the quarry itself allow the aptly named Crystal River to run clean, clear and completely free from run off from the quarrying operations, with all the water utilized being carefully collected and re-used.

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And so there you have it – brand new pictures from the Colorado Stone Quarries new marble processing plant just outside of Delta, Colorado, taken on Sunday, June 14th 2020.  No wonder this vast project has taken over a year to complete. I had no idea just what was cooking over in Delta, but now I am here to say that thanks to the size and scale of this magnificent facility, together with the sound and logical operation they have going up at the quarry itself, after a seemingly endless struggle for viability, and after numerous attempts to revive Colorado’s state rock, Colorado Yule Marble is back up and running BIG TIME.

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Spectacular New Delta Colorado Yule Marble Fabrication Plant Nearing Completion

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