top of page

The St. Vrain Mill was built in 1864 by Ceran St. Vrain, a prominent trader, Santa Fe wagon master, and entrepreneur.  It is a large three-story stone structure on the banks of the Mora River in Mora, New Mexico.  It was one of several mills in the Mora Valley that provided flour and milled-grain to nearby Fort Union.  Operated as a mill until 1922, its milling machinery was sold off during WWII's metal-collection efforts.  The last 75 years or so, it has been neglected and is gradually deteriorating.  It is one of the last and most impressive historical structures in Mora County today.

Ongoing Efforts by the Saint Vrain Mill Foundation:

  • The St. Vrain Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

  • It was placed on the List of Ten Most Endangered Historical Places in New Mexico in 2002.  A much more detailed history can be seen at the History Tab.

  • In 2013, several members of the Mora community established The Saint Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation for the specific purpose of buying and preserving the St. Vrain Mill.

  • In early June 2015, with the generous donations of the community and our members, the St. Vrain Mill was purchased by the Foundation.

  • First step was to commission a Historic Structures Report documenting the historical and architectural features of the Mill and a structural analysis to determine the most practical way to stabilize the foundation and repair the walls.  Both documents can be seen at the Reports Tab.

  • In January 2018, with engineering recommendations in hand, the foundation was stabilized.

  • The gables were repaired in 2019, as well as the windows and the south-facing, second-story loading platform. 

  • Currently, work is being done to raise funds for the wall repair and roof replacement while continuing to do smaller projects, like window grate replacement, as funds allow.

  • The eventual end-use of the Mill will most likely be a Mora Valley Heritage Center featuring the history of the generational families of Mora County.  A more complete description of our restoration plan can be seen at the Restoration Plan Tab.

  • In 2021, the rear-exit stairs and door were completed, thereby meeting safety requirements for a second/emergency exit.  Overhead lighting was also installed on the first and second floors.


2024 St. Vrain Annual Meeting
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Time:  3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Invited Speaker: A. Gabriel Melendez, Ph.D.

A. GABRIEL MELÉNDEZ is a Distinguished Professor (retired) and the former Director of the Center for Regional Studies (CRS) at the University of New Mexico.  He is the author and editor of a number of books, among them:  So All is Not Lost: The Poetics of Print in Nuevomexicano Communities, 1836-1958 (UNM, 1997), Santa Fe Nativa: A Collection of Nuevomexicano Writing (UNM, 2010), Hidden Chicano Cinema: Film Dramas in the Borderlands, (Rutgers University Press, 2013), and The Legend of Ponciano Gutiérrez and the Mountain Thieves (UNM 2013), an illustrated book for young readers.
Meléndez's book of short stories, The Book of Archives and other stories from the Mora Valley/El Libro de los Archivos (2017), moves his writing from the rigors of archival research into the space of creative and imaginative writing.  He was born and grew up in Mora, New Mexico.

Take a moment to look at the article profiling the work completed by the Keller Group, a successor to Howard Baker, the company responsible for the St. Vrain Mill stabilization.  The St. Vrain Mill is profiled as one of their project descriptions.

New Mexico Magazine also ran a wonderful article on Mora Valley and the three mills, including the St. Vrain Mill.  You can read the article on the following link:

See the Historic Wool and Wheat Mills of Mora Valley, New Mexico (

St. Vrain Mill Profiled by KENW PBS

Below are links to a video presentation on the St. Vrain Mill's restoration produced by James Wygal of KENW PBS-- Cultura, Portales, New Mexico.  It's a little over eight minutes long and features interviews with Saint Vrain Foundation President-- Merl Witt, and Board Members--Ken Krusemark and Dr. Tammie Ortega.  Beverley Spears of Spears Horn Architects, Santa Fe, New Mexico, also comments on efforts to preserve the historic St. Vrain Mill. 


Thank you KENW PBS and James Wygal for visting the St. Vrain Mill and producing the video. 

Facebook link:

YouTube link:

Send us a message:

Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page