Whilst traveling through the picturesque town of San Marino the other day, my sister and I happened upon a hidden gem tucked away in a sleepy neighborhood.
The Old Mill (also know as El Molino Viejo) is a historic landmark that dates to 1816. It was as a grist mill for the nearby Mission San Gabriel and rather than have the typical vertical mill wheel on the outside of the building it used a horizontal wheel in the lower floor. Unfortunately this did not prove to be an egineering success and within 10 years was replaced by a traditional mill at the mission itself. The Old Mill then went through various uses such as a clubhouse and private residence. Thankfully, it now is a historic monument and open to the public.
I learned this information from the friendly docent who greeted us when we entered the building. After she provided the historical context she left us free to wander the building and the grounds. The building itself is rather small – the first floor is a gallery for the California Art Club and the lower floor contains historic artifacts. Unfortunately, the mill wheels are no longer there as they’ve since deteriorated. Although small, the monument is in impeccable condition and I’ll take quality over quantity any day.
Surrounding the monument is a lovely garden. It was a beautiful day and we strolled around a little enjoying the peaceful surroundings. The mill annually holds summer concerts by the California Philharmonic in the garden and I would imagine it makes for a beautiful evening. Just check out the setting.
Beautiful, right? So check out the The Old Mill for a bit of history in one of the loveliest cities in Southern California.
The Old Mill – El Molino Viejo
1120 Old Mill Road
San Marino, CA 91108
open 1-4pm, Tuesday-Sunday