Sparky's Quill: Naming Mill Avenue

Pictured here is the old Hayden flour mill that gave Mill Avenue its name. Photo Courtesy www.azcentral.com Pictured here is the old Hayden flour mill that gave Mill Avenue its name. Photo courtesy of azcentral.com

Clubs, bars, shows, music, shopping, food and entertainment can be found at the bustling Mill Avenue here in Tempe, AZ. Mill Avenue is famous around the country and the world for a fun night out. One notable landmark along Mill Avenue I covered is ASU Gammage. The downtown section of Mill Avenue sits at the corner of ASU, making it a destination for university students, faculty, and visitors of the school and of Arizona. Businessmen and women traveling from afar flock towards the historic Mill Avenue to catch a glimpse of the nightlife that surrounds ASU. Everyone knows Mill Avenue.

Pictured is Hayden Ferry, which operated between 1870-1880. Look at how different it looked! Photo courtesy Wikipedia Pictured is Hayden Ferry, which operated between 1870-1880. Look at how different it looked! Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

When we give directions or drive down the streets of our city, it is not very often that the histories surrounding the names of our streets arise in our minds. Why is Mill Avenue, well, Mill Avenue? The answer is quite obvious when you realize there is a flourmill off the road that is still standing today.  It does not operate anymore, but the historic landmark stands and watches over the active downtown part of the avenue.

 Shown is one of the many festivals and events that happen on Mill Ave. Photo courtesy www.millavenue.com Shown is one of the many festivals and events that happen on Mill Ave. Photo courtesy millavenue.com

Charles Trumbull Hayden, the founder of Tempe, built the flour mill in the late 19th century. At the same time he built the mill, made a ferry service and built a few shops to create the settlement Hayden’s Ferry. This ferry crossed what is now Tempe Town Lake and what was the Salt River. The mill stands on the west side of Tempe Butte, which is also known as ‘A’ Mountain.  Mill Avenue became an entertainment center when it was rehabilitated in 1971 and has never looked back.

The next time you find yourself in the downtown section of Mill Avenue, look to the north at the old Hayden Flour Mill and think of all the history still standing there today! You can learn about events and what Mill Avenue has to offer at their website here.

 

 

Do you have any more questions about Tempe, Mill, or ASU? Drop us a line at sparkysquill@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @sparkysquill.


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