Our History

by | Feb 18, 2016 | 0 comments

The history of the Sperry mill is closely tied to the history of Vallejo, They used to bring clipper ships through with grain in their holds.

Founded by A.D. Starr in 1869, what became the Vallejo General Mills plant in 1929 began as Starr Mills and later Sperry Mills. It was, “in point of capital involved and employment afforded, the most important industry in Vallejo, besides being the biggest mill in the state,” according to the Vallejo Chronicle dated Thursday, Dec. 24, 1891.

One of the earliest ports on the West Coast from 1869

The most important flour mill on the West Coast from 1869

To read more: Vallejo Museum – Vallejo Flour Industy

Recent Events:

The State of California owns the property, which is placed in Public Trust, with the City of Vallejo serving as Trustee. It is partly on tidelands, which rise above and fall below the mean high tide water line.

It was leased to General Mills, and the most recent lease, from 1991, says ‘Nothing in any way explosive, hazardous or toxic may be kept, stored or sold.’

When General Mills left, Cherokee Brooks took over the lease. When they left, Bank Midwest took over in 2010.

VMT took over the lease on September 28,2012. The principals are listed as Blaise Fettig of VMT; Ken Dawson, president of Marcel Carter Investments; and Mark Grisham of Grisham + Associates. It was amended to extend the term of the lease from January 1, 2014 until 2047 – 33 years – with a renewal option for an additional 33 years until 2080.

The annual rent is $95,520. Capital improvements are allowed to offset rent up to $8 million. Another amendment, dated September 17, 2015, allows rent abatement until June 30 2016 ‘to reflect the time required to receive regulatory approvals for the planned improvements.’ This means no rent has been paid and rent will only become due starting July 1, 2016 unless the abatement period is extended.

It is now up to us to make certain VMT / ORCEM cannot move forward,