Visitors can experience the spectacle of the great fly-wheel rotating, the pistons pumping, and the sound of steam escaping with a hiss. Long before the arrival of the first westward explorers, the cool waters of Crystal Spring flowed from an unknown source into what is now Southwest Virginia's Roanoke Valley. When Scots-Irish immigrants settled the region in the mid 1700's, the Evans family harnessed these waters to power a grist mill, and Crystal Spring has played an important part in Roanoke's history ever since. In 1905, the City purchased the Snow Steam Pump from the Snow Steam Pump Works of Buffalo, NY. The pump was a mechanical marvel of the day. The Crystal Spring Pump Station has been recognized as an important part of Roanoke's history. The Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Snow Steam Pump is recognized as one of the last, best examples of its kind by the Smithsonian Institution.