A dedication ceremony for the newly renovated Hayden Flour Mill in Tempe, a historical landmark, took place October 5 from 5 to 10 p.m. outside the facility, at the base of Tempe’s Mill Avenue District on Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue.
The newly opened event venue is called The Green at Hayden Flour Mill, and it is open to the public for special events like concerts, weddings, parties and others.
Throughout the property, visitors will find shaded areas for picnicking, a grass lawn in front of the amphitheater, and information telling the story of the historic Hayden Flour Mill, an iconic part of the Mill Avenue District.
To kick off the festivities, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Bird Singers and Dancers by the River performed several dances for the public, followed by SRPMIC Council Member Ricardo Leonard performing a blessing of the mountain. The SRPMIC Traditional Basket Dancers performed next.
Prior to the program, guests could explore the grounds, where they were greeted by flautist David Montour and could look at displays of historic photographs and information regarding the facility.
City of Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell welcomed everyone and introduced members of the Tempe City Council, SRPMIC Council and visiting dignitaries, including members of the Hayden family. Mitchell spoke about the Hayden Flour Mill and its historical significance to the founding and growth of Tempe.
SRPMIC President Diane Enos talked about the history of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and explained the importance of the Hayden Flour Mill to the Community. Community members from Salt River would travel to the mill, bringing their sacks filled with wheat and corn to be ground up.
“Our people grew wheat and corn and a lot of agricultural products, so much that they had enough to trade and so much that they fed the Mormon Battalion at times,” said Enos. “Our people are still the kind that look for the good and relationship-building in [different] people.”
Enos also shared how her own grandparents sold their wheat to the flour mill.
“I want to thank former Mayor Hugh Hallman, who has worked with the Community for many years on projects such as this,” said Enos.
Next on the program was former Mayor Hallman, who discussed the mill’s renovation project and the positive working relationship with the Salt River Indian Community.
After the dignitaries spoke, instead of the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony they broke loaves of bread with each other to celebrate the opening of the mill as an event venue.
Throughout the evening, tours were given of the facility and several local bands played on stage.
Charles Trumbull Hayden opened the mill at the base of “A” Mountain (Tempe Butte) in 1874, making it one of Tempe’s first businesses. The facility had been abandoned for many years and was shut down 14 years ago. Recently, communities got together to raise funds for a major renovation.
The renovation cost $600,000, which was paid for through donations from many businesses and civic organizations including Southwest Gas, the Tempe Diablos and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Donors to the Facility
Rio Salado Foundation Donors
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Wally Zaremba & West 6th Tempe
City of Tempe
American Outdoor Advertising
John Graham Family & Sunbelt Holdings
Paul Allen & Vulcan, Inc.
Tempe Diablos, in Honor of Founding Member
Hayden C. Hayden