The history of the coal boom is evident everywhere you look along the Crystal River. You can see the train tracks that carried the coal down. You can see chunks of marble that fell out of the train car carrying marble down from the town below Crystal.
The village of Redstone itself was designed as a sort of planned community socialism within an Industrial Coal Company. See From Redstone to Ludlow: John Cleveland Osgood Struggle Against the United Mine Workers of America
John Cleveland Osgood built the Redstone Castle, and the materials chosen tell the stories of American Industrialists exploring other cultures for their finery and bringing them back to the ultimate hunting lodge. Going on a tour of the carefully renovated Castle is a must.
The geography of the village itself puts the community roles on display. The miner’s cottages dot the boulevard. On the river side you can see where some of the cottages were knocked down during the Great Depression to save on taxes. Beyond the Redstone Inn parking lot there is an upper road called Firehouse Rd. Here are the sites of the school house and the community house now no longer in existence. The first home is a perfect example of Victorian architecture and was the manager’s home. Then came the Fire Department, which is now a luxury residence for sale. This home itself tells the story of how the decades passed. Around the depression, it became a hunting lodge. It also served as an artist studio before becoming a home with two additions.
So, the upper Firehouse Rd was for those with supervisory or community oriented roles, while the boulevard was for the miners’ families, their teachers et.al.
Each of the homes on the boulevard has a story – the company store, the teacher’s house, the book store, the social club. Now, the edifices remain but the purposes fit the era- an angler’s shop, an art gallery, a this and thattery, some arts and pottery, and a pizza shop.
The Redstone Inn boasts a fascinating coming into existence as well. It has a variety of room sizes to meet the needs of various members of the community from bachelor miners to larger rooms for travelers. Now it is a great place to have a wedding, go to the pool and bar or go out to dinner.