Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gardner Village History: Archibald Gardner and the West Jordan Flour Mill

If walls could talk, our shops would tell stories of long journeys, family memories and hard work. As you walk down our paths, make sure you take time to stop and read about the history of the building you are about to enter.

Stay tuned to our blog each month as we bring you the stories of the buildings located at Gardner Village, and the role the building played in Utah history before it settled in our Village as home to one of our charming shops.

It all began with a flour mill…

The story of Gardner Village begins with a determined, industrious man named Archibald Gardner. Born in Scotland in 1814, he migrated to Canada, and then the United States when he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). He was in the original group of Mormon pioneers who came to Utah and settled Salt Lake City in 1847.

Archibald and his family settled near the Jordan River and hauled logs by horse team from Bingham Canyon to build the first West Jordan Flour Mill in 1853. The Gardner family celebrated the completion of the mill with a housewarming party on December 21, 1853.

The original mill was sold, and a larger mill was built in its place in 1877. That mill is still standing today, and is known as Archibald’s Restaurant and Country Furniture & Gifts.
Archibald Gardner also developed the nearby West Jordan canal and other irrigation canals in the area. Gardner was issued the first commercial water rights in Utah.

Transformation from historical mill to a charming shop and restaurant…

After passing through different owners, the mill and surrounding area eventually became vacant. In 1979, Nancy Long bought the run-down mill with hopes of renovating this historical building and turning it into a house. Instead, she converted it into a furniture store, Country Furniture &Gifts, and later added Archibald’s Restaurant in 1990.

The Gardner Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and received the 1987 Utah Heritage Award for the most improved commercial building.

Nancy Long, along with Chris Christenson and her son Joe Long, worked together with a team of hard-working staff to find and move historical buildings to where they rest now at Gardner Village.

Nancy’s son Joe Long and daughter Angie Seeley, own the Village today and continue in her journey. 

Learn more about Archibald Gardner by visiting Archibald’s Restaurant and Country Furniture & Gifts. You can find pictures and more information in the lobby, as well as in your individual booth while dining there.

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