Historic Sites, Tempe, Arizona
Hayden Flour Mill and Silos
The few times I go into Tempe this enormous mill catches my eye. The Hayden Flour Mill had sat abandoned for more than 15 years behind locked gates in a busy business section of Tempe. Finally the city has open the gates and allowed the public to view this Hayden Flour Mill. The site is free but limited to what you can see and where you can explore. The machine room and bank vault are behind bars, silo and warehouse are still behind gates.
The Hayden Flour Mill, as it stands, is the oldest cast-in-place, reinforced concrete building in Tempe. The mill that currently exists, however, is the third building erected on that site. Two previous mills burned. The original mill started operations in 1874.The Hayden Flour Mill was the larger of two such mills in the state until April 01, 1998, when Bay State Milling stopped operation ending the longest run of continuous use for an industrial building in the Valley. The original 1874 adobe mill burned on July 8, 1895, and a second mill built on the site, also constructed of adobe, burned on July 10, 1917. The completely destroyed structure was rebuilt in 1918. The 1918 mill exists with its original integrity only slightly modified. [read more]
Charles Trumbull Hayden (1825-1900) is generally credited with being the founder of Tempe. He was the first to establish commerce and industry in the area, which made permanent settlement possible. When Hayden heard that settlers were building a canal on the south side of the Salt River, he brought his wagons up from Tucson and offered much needed tools and supplies for the workers. On November 17, 1870, he gave notice of the formation of the Hayden Milling and Farming Ditch Company, and recorded his claim to portions of Section 15, stating work had begun on the project. [more info]