gardner village history and about us

Gardner Village...An Authentic Utah Experience. Since 1980.

Utah's own silo experience starts here at Gardner Village. Stepping onto the grounds is like taking a step back in time. The historic atmosphere is reminiscent of the once-bustling early Utah pioneer mill industry and each locally owned small shop surrounds the historic Gardner Mill. In these shops, you'll find on-trend furniture, home decor, candy, bedding, jewelry, clothing, bridal gowns, flowers, antiques, DIY crafts, art and more. There are also restaurants, an escape room, a day spa, farm and event venues all coming together to create unique to Utah events, shopping and dining experiences right here in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley.

Read on to learn about how Gardner Village went from being a single flour mill built in 1877 to a bustling shopping, dining and event destination with that mill listed on the National Historic Register and a Utah Historic Site.

Archibald Gardner and the Mill's Beginnings

Archibald Gardner was a Scottish immigrant who was one of the original pioneer settlers in Utah back in 1847. In the 1850’s, 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. Over 20 years later, the original mill was moved and a larger mill was erected in its stead. Now home to Archibald’s Restaurant and CF Home Furniture & Design, this historic flour mill and its silo were the beginnings of what Gardner Village is today.

FOUNDER Nancy Long's Legacy

The Mill and surrounding property passed to other owners over the years, until it was eventually left vacant. In 1979, Nancy Long bought the Mill with the intentions of converting it into her family's home. However, her retail experience and entrepreneurial spirit prompted her to turn it into a furniture store instead. Transforming the old, abandoned property was not easy, but Nancy worked tirelessly to breathe new life into it, and Country Furniture and Gifts (now CF Home) opened in May of 1980. A decade later, her dream of opening a restaurant in the mill came true with the opening of Archibald’s Restaurant in 1990.

Wanting to keep the history of the mill intact, historic aspects were intentionally left in place. For a trip back in time, take a walk through CF Home and Archibald’s Restaurant to see some remarkable artifacts. It’s no wonder the Gardner Mill landed itself on the National Register of Historic Places and received the 1987 Utah Heritage award for the most improved commercial building.

With the help of her family and a hardworking staff, Nancy paid for a newspaper ad looking for historic buildings, which were then moved to the Gardner property. Historic homes, cabins, and even a train station were donated and renovated at the property to re-create a charming village, complete with a winding stream, brick-lined paths and covered bridges.

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. This talented sibling duo considers it a tremendous honor to operate a business that supports so many employees as well as other small businesses. Under their care, the property continues to evolve and uncover new potential, giving guests reasons to not only visit often but also celebrate special occasions, traditions, and weddings here!

Tribute to Founder Nancy Long

Nancy Long, founder of Utah's Gardner Village, died November 21, 2022 and is free from her battle with Muscular Dystrophy and complications from a stroke. She was 82. She will be remembered for a colorful life and her entrepreneurial spirit. She wasn’t your run of the mill type of woman. From all of us at Gardner Village, we applaud Nancy for her strength, willingness to take risks and her boundless creativity and passion. She went against the grain and found potential where others didn't.