August 12, 2023

Instagram Blamed for "Crystal Mill" Access Closure

The 1892 Crystal "Mill" was actually a powerhouse. (Library of Congress)

 If you live in Colorado, you know this image. As the man quoted says, it's on the wall of every dentist's office. (Except my old dentist, who stuck streamer flies in the ceiling tiles sothat you could contemplate them when the chair reclined.)

What used to be a popular destination is now closed off. It was just too too Instagram-able.  The owner used to charge visitors a $10 fee. Now access is closed, reports the Colorado Sun.

Some of the visitors to the Crystal Mill and Crystal City ghost town area — estimated at thousands a week in the summer season — had started prying off bits of the historic mill. They were carving their names into surrounding trees and spray painting on structures. Some threw a party inside the rickety mill building. One slung a hammock from the side of the mill. Some buzzed drones over the area. One pulled a gun on a Cox employee when asked to pay the $10 access fee.

Marble locals have reported that others went to nearby private historic cabins and walked in on summer residents, thinking the structures were there for more of their backcountry exploration. People relieved themselves outside the cabins after they found they couldn’t wander in and use a toilet.

Marble business owners who run tours to the mill or rent rugged vehicles capable of getting there, blame social media for the influx of ill-intentioned visitors bent on snagging the best selfies with an internationally recognized mining-era structure.

 Find your own damn social media hotspot, OK?


Darrell said...

Colorado is being loved to death.

Galen Geer said...

What went wrong there is not isolated by is representative of an illness that is gripping the population as a whole. Not just in this country throughout the world. This "Third Industrial Revolution" that we are living through is incredibly destructive to our world. This is also the subject of one of the essays I am (once again) working on for inclusion in my collection of essays on the outdoor media (which includes social media) and their failures.

Woody Meristem said...

Many of the most beautiful and significant areas on public land are being trampled to death as well as vandalized by people who have no respect for natural of historic resources -- social media has a large hand in that. I no longer visit most of those areas and no longer indicate where I took my photos -- and never geotag my photos.