Gardner Village History
Vintage pioneer architecture, antique fixtures, red brick paths and bridges over a pond, create a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for shopping, dining and discovering some of Utah's most colorful history.
Gardner Village History
Close your eyes and imagine a large grist mill, mattress factory, broom factory, blacksmith shop, and general store. What remains today—the Gardner Mill—is the legacy of Archibald Gardner, an industrious pioneer and devout religious man.
Gardner, who was born in Kilsythe, Scotland, in 1814, immigrated to Canada and then the United States after he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Gardner was one of the original Mormon pioneer settlers of Utah in 1847, when the first wave of pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
Gardner, who gained experience building mills in Canada, built his first Utah mills in the Cottonwood area. In the early 1850s, Archibald Gardner and his family began establishing the roots of an industrious hub on the west side of the Jordan River. Logs were hauled by horse teams from the Bingham Canyon to build the first West Jordan flour mill in 1853. A house warming was held in the Mill on December 21, 1853, according to records. The original mill was moved and a larger mill, now on the site, was erected in 1877. The adjacent West Jordan Canal and other irrigation canals were also developed by Archibald Gardner. The first commercial water rights issued in Utah went to Archibald Gardner and his West Jordan Mill.
The Mill and surrounding property passed to other owners and eventually became vacant. In 1979, Nancy Long bought the Mill to convert it into a house, but her retail experience and entrepreneurial spirit prompted her to turn it into a furniture store, Country Furniture & Gifts, which opened in May of 1980. Her dream of having a restaurant in the old mill came true in 1990 with the opening of the popular Archibald’s Restaurant.
Since then, Nancy, Chris Christenson, son Joe Long, and a hard-working staff, have found and moved historic buildings to the Gardner property to re-create a village complete with a stream winding through a series of connecting pathways and covered bridges. 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.
Gardner Village Today
Like the waterwheel that once powered the mill, Nancy Long's clarity of vision continues to guide Gardner Village. Today, the ownership has passed to a new generation, Nancy's son Joe Long and daughter Angie Gerdes, are working to continue the journey their mother began in 1980.