August 27, 2012

Hayden Flour Mill

For years I've admired the old Tempe flour mill from afar, and always hoped that one day the city would restore the space surrounding it and make it accessible to the community. Well, earlier this year I finally got my wish and the Hayden Flour Mill is here to stay.

The first flour mill was built here in 1874 out of adobe block by the means of Charles Hayden. Hayden was a heavy hitter in town and owned an 80-acre settlement called Hayden's Ferry, which was the business center for the town of Tempe. By the 1880's, Hayden had built the mill, a store and a home, and also warehouses and orchards (which were once very big around here in the valley!).

After the first mill burned down (date unknown), a second adobe style mill was constructed here as well and ultimately met the same fate as the first mill in 1917. In 1918, Hayden rebuilt the mill one last time, this time using cast-in-place concrete to insure it would remain for years to come (and this structure still stands today in its original form!). After World War II, Hayden C. Hayden, Charles Hayden's grandson, bought out the investors of the mill and returned his grandfather's company back to its original business plan (milling and transporting flour across Arizona).

Located on the first floor of the mill is this absolutely amazing safe! Back in May Scott and I got an extra special look at the inside of this safe, and all I can say is that it is truly stunning! I sure hope that when the city officially opens the mill to the public, that they open up this safe once again to show off its hidden beauty for all to see!

In 1998 the mill closed, ending the longest run of continuous use for an industrial building in the valley. Since then the mill has seen another fire (in the upper half of the building just a few years ago), and has continued to stand as an amazing landmark for the history of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.

Growing up I heard stories that the mill was haunted, and still to this day I believe that it is. If you're around the mill during dusk and after the sun sets, the eeriest feeling seems to overcome the area and you're left wondering if you really are the only person hanging out around there. SO spooky!

Outfit details:
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Dress: Levi's
Belt: Levi's
Bracelets: Vintage
Moccs: Minnetonka Moccasins

The mill also holds a special place in Scott's heart, and we are both so happy that this historic building will be around for years to come.

Do you have a favorite old building in your town (or anywhere really)? If so, what kind of history does it have behind it?
-Chelsea xo


  1. I really love your cardi and dress combo - the colors are perfection! I really love Gardner Village which is nearby us, and downtown we have one old building that used to be a Coca-Cola building as the original painted "sign" is still on the bricks - just horribly faded, which is so pretty. ^_^

  2. you look incredibly beautiful miss chelsea!

  3. I love the history of that mill. i need to make it my own personal mission to find something like this in my new city. It looks beautiful, and a little bit mysterious. (and who doesn't love something with a rumor of a haunting?!)

    You look charming, as always.

  4. I sure hope that when the city officially opens the mill to the public, Sexual health that they open up this safe once again to show off its hidden beauty for all to see!

  5. I was in there last night, Its pretty cool. Then I went in the silos and got on the top by climbing a scary latter all the way up. Its creepy as hell in there and when you are on the top you are 3/4 as high as asu mtn.I have over an hr of video of me and my friends in there. The whole bottom floor of the basement is just bones from what look like birds and maybe cats, it looked like water washed all the dead bires and cats to the basement and you can see a watrline because it must have been a pool some 6" deep of dead stuff but its dried up now..

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