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San Marino, CA

El Molino Viejo

By September 14, 2022January 6th, 2023No Comments

El Molino Viejo

El Molino Viejo, also known as The Old Mill, is a gristmill located in San Marino, CA. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Southern California and the only remaining gristmill of its kind in the state. The mill was built in 1816 by Spanish soldiers who were stationed at the nearby Presidio of Santa Barbara. It remained in operation until 1846, when it was abandoned during the Mexican-American War. 

The mill was acquired by James De La Guerra in 1859, who restored it to working order. It continued to operate until 1909, when it was damaged by a flood and finally ceased operations. The mill was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 and is now open to the public as a museum.

What To Do

El Molino Viejo is the oldest commercial building in Southern California and one of the oldest mills in the state. The mill was used to grind wheat and corn into flour and meal, and it remained in operation until the early twentieth century. Today, it is a museum open to the public for tours and special events. Visitors can learn about the history of the mill and see firsthand how it operated. The Old Mill is also a popular spot for picnicking and photography.


El Molino Viejo has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Today, the mill is open to the public for tours and continues to grind wheat into flour using water-powered machinery. Visitors can see the millstone quarry, where the massive stones used to grind grain were extracted. In addition to its historic significance, El Molino Viejo is also a beautiful example of early California architecture and is set against a backdrop of gardens and streams. As such, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the San Marino area.

Plan Your Visit

If you are planning a visit to El Molino Viejo, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The mill is only open on weekends, and tours must be reserved in advance. Parking is limited, so it is best to carpool or take public transportation if possible. And finally, remember to bring your camera – this historic landmark is definitely worth capturing on film.

Overall, El Molino Viejo is a fascinating glimpse into California’s colonial past. The restored mill is a beautiful example of early Spanish architecture, and the adjacent museum provides visitors with an insightful look at the history of the site. Whether you’re interested in early California history or simply want to see a beautiful piece of architecture, El Molino Viejo is definitely worth a visit.


Additionally, if you want to see a different type of garden, be sure to check out The Huntington Japanese Garden. This garden is one of the largest and most beautiful in the United States, and it’s definitely worth a visit. You’ll find a variety of plants and flowers, as well as a koi pond and a tea house.

Hanna Li Interiors