The Old Mill Foundation recently kicked off its 200th Anniversary with a party celebrating the success of its sponsorship banners.
It sold 68 banners to local residents and businesses – including the San Marino Tribune – commemorating The Old Mill’s two centuries in existence.
“We had a tremendous response,” The Old Mill Foundation Executive Director Cathy Brown said. “January 15 was our deadline for selling banners because we knew we needed to get them up in February. We sold out within a day or two of the 15th. We’re pleased.”
Old Mill Foundation President John Quinn said though The Old Mill, also called El Molino Viejo, did raise significant funds selling the banners at $200 a piece, the primary goal was to get the word out that The Old Mill is celebrating its 200th anniversary.
“That was a huge success,” he said.
All of the sponsorship banners have been hung on light poles in the city’s more commercial areas, such as Huntington Drive, Mission Street and Sierra Madre Boulevard. City of San Marino public works employees hung the banners in mid-February. Brown complimented the city workers on hanging banners sponsored by a particular city business near that business location.
The Old Mill 200th Anniversary banners will be hanging until October. Afterwards, the sponsor will get the banners to keep.
The Old Mill Banner Committee member Mia Dean came up with the idea of the sponsorship banners. She said she always sees banners on light poles around Pasadena advertising different events.
Dean said the banners will be a great way to promote The Old Mill.
“Hopefully some people who don’t know it will say, ‘What’s the Old Mill?’” she said.
Quinn said he first thought about selling 10 banners, but then was advised by The Old Mill Banner Committee Member Mary Sikora to “Go big or go home.”
“We said, ‘Let’s go big’ and the city was nice enough to say that they would support our activity and installed the banners all over town for us,” Quinn said.
Sikora designed the banners and her daughter, Mackenzie, took the photo that is featured on them. She said The Old Mill Foundation was excited by the response of people and organizations wanting to purchase the sponsorship banners.
Major renovations at The Old Mill also started last week and will last until April or May. There will be exterior work done, such as repairs of the roof and walls. The office will get new furniture, computers, lighting and flooring in addition to being painted. The renovation work is being financed by a grant from Los Angeles County in addition to funds from the city and The Old Mill Foundation.
Quinn set a goal to get 200 new members for The Old Mill’s 200th Anniversary.
“It’s only $50 for a base level membership,” he said. “You can go up higher than that if you like.”
To become an Old Mill Foundation member, call 449-5458 or visit www.old-mill.org.
The Old Mill was erected in 1816 as a gristmill for Mission San Gabriel. A new mill was constructed between 1822-1823 and the building then became known as The Old Mill. It was used for numerous purposes and had multiple owners throughout the decades. The Old Mill is currently owned by the City of San Marino with The Old Mill Foundation maintaining and operating it. It is the oldest commercial building in Los Angeles County. The Old Mill is both a California State Historic Landmark and appears on the National Register of Historic Places.