Celebration of Life to be held in January at Gardner Village for founder Nancy Long

Dec 7, 2022, 4:06 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2023, 10:11 am
Nancy Long is standing in front of Gardner Village....
Nancy Ann Long, founder of Gardner Village in West Jordan, has died. Her children have taken ownership and will keep the village alive as a standing tribute to her. (Gardner Village)
(Gardner Village)

WEST JORDAN, Utah — The founder of Gardner Village, Nancy Long, has died at 82 after battling Muscular Dystrophy and complications from a stroke.

Long fell in love with the historic Gardner Mill in West Jordan, which once served as a flour mill built by one of Utah’s first pioneer settlers, Archibald Gardner.

An old abandoned building that was once an active flour mill.

The old Gardner Mill, built in 1877, was in neglected condition when Nancy Long saw its potential in 1979. (Gardner Villiage)

Gardner’s arrival to the west of the Jordan River is said to have sparked the expansion of the Salt Lake Valley’s West Side.

Nancy Long transformed the old building into a market for furniture and handmade gifts that opened in May of 1980. Ten years later, Archibald’s Restaurant opened and Gardner Village began to take shape.

The mill with 1980's cars parked in front.

Photo of Gardner Mill in Dec. 1981 taken by Harold Carpenter. (National Register of Historic Places)

Other historic homes and buildings, including a train station, were donated and renovated to create a village lined with brick paths, a stream and bridges throughout.

Gardner Village is considered a Utah Historic Site and is listed on the National Historic Register.

The mill stands today, renovated and welcoming to shoppers and tourists.

Gardner Village brings locals and visitors throughout the year. It features locally owned specialty shops and event venues surrounding that historic mill. (Gardner Village)

The market village is home to many local businesses, supporting many local entrepreneurs and small business owners. It was even featured in a Netflix holiday film “Falling for Christmas.”

According to a press release, Nancy Long’s favorite quote was “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is.”

Though Long passed away on Nov. 21, her children Joe Long and Angie Gerdes are taking on ownership of the village to continue the journey their mother began.

Nancy had 6 children, 19 grandchildren, and 18 great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held at The Gathering Place at Gardner Village in West Jordan, UT, on Sunday, January 15, 2023 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm..

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Celebration of Life to be held in January at Gardner Village for founder Nancy Long