The Lights of 1898
At the end of the 19th century, a flour factory was built in the town that saw the end of activity in the old mills. This factory was known as the Sociedad Electro Harinera de Valdemorillo (Valdemorillo Electro Flour Mill Company) and was owned by Don Severiano Suja, who ran both the flour factory and electricity distribution for the towns of Valdemorillo, Navalagamella and Colmenar del Arroyo.
This curious arrangement came about due to the fact that an electrical supply was installed in the factory, initially for flour production. Later on, electricity for lighting was extended to the rest of the surrounding towns. (2)
We can also find mention of a flour factory owned by Don Severiano Suja in Valdemorillo in this official newsletter from Madrid in 1919. (3)
During the Spanish Civil War, the factory was bombarded and destroyed because it was a source of electricity. Once the war was over, the then owner, Don José Azañedo recovered the surviving machinery from the factory and installed it in a mill along the River Aulencia. (4)
With the death of Don Severiano Suja, it was Don José Azañeda Rodríguez (husband of Severiano's daughter Sara) who took over the business and enlisted the talents of architect Don Enrique Simonet to build a new factory.
This was a unique project, not just because of the building's appearance or build quality but also because of the machinery that was installed inside, which was imported from Switzerland and made by the Daverio Company. The result was an iconic building boasting the most innovative technology of the time.
During the difficult 1950s and the subsequent economic recovery, the factory remained in the hands of the Azañedo Suja family. However, in 1963, after a challenging economic period, the family sold it to the owners of the La Palentina flour company.
Following many years of inactivity and renovation, the factory is today a restaurant offering a fantastic setting for weddings and events.