Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Historic: Hayden Flour Mill



For more than 14 years, the Hayden Flour Mill stood abandoned in Tempe, Arizona.  With the help of volunteers and funds raised, the outside of the mill has been restored.  The chain link fence which surrounded the place has been taken down for people to check out the grounds of this historic site.  The inside of the mill is still going through renovation but visitors can peak in the doors and windows to get a glimpse of the construction.  Eventually, there will be shops, restaurants, and a place to watch movies, see a concert, and even to get married inside the walls of the old mill.  With its location near Arizona State University and the Tempe’s Town Lake, the Hayden Flour Mill will be the hotspot for locals and visitors alike.

In 1874, the first mill was an adobe building and held the sacks of flour on the second floor. It was well known around the Arizona Territory for hauling products in freight wagons and pack-trains to all the surrounding mining camps and military posts.  They estimated that over a million dollars worth of products went through the mill.  The Salt River Pima Indians grew wheat which was taken to the mill by horseback and traded for supplies.  The mill became the main trade hub for all of the south side of the Salt River Valley.


On July 10, 1918, after the old adobe building burnt down, a concrete mill was built in its place by J. C. Steele.  The massive silos were the biggest undertaking for Steel who constructed them of cast-in-place concrete post, beams, and integral slabs.  By October 10, 1984, the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  The mill ceased all operations on April 1, 1998, and the Hayden Flour Mill and silos were left abandoned until about 14 years later when it was finally renovated.


I got the opportunity to visit this fantastic historic site and was thrilled at how rustic it still is.  The grounds were full of flowers, bushes trees, and a groomed grass lawn.  We could not get in the inside of the mill because it was locked up for renovation.  However, we could see in the building where old rusty machines and a huge safe still stand in the location where they were once in use.  I took tons of pictures and will be sharing them in this post and a couple of other posts to follow.  Also, Sharon is trying to find a way for us to get inside and possibly do a ghost hunt.  There are lots of rumors that the old mill is haunted.  I hope we get the opportunity to find out.  If we can't do a ghost hunt, we would love to get pictures of the inside.









5 comments:

  1. That place was sooooo awesome! I think my #1 favorite dream would be to go inside and photograph the place. Wow.

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    1. Yep, I would love to get inside that massive structure and take tons of pictures of the rooms, floors, and stairwells.

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  2. there will be an opportunity to tour the inside on October 5th's ribbon cutting: http://www.facebook.com/HaydenFlourMill

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  3. That looks like a lot of the abandoned warehouses in my area! I bet something is lurking in there... I meant a ghost, but maybe also a critter or two!

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