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Bailey's Mills Road threads through a narrow valley settled in the late
18th century. A strong sense of history intensifies as you pass the quaint
town cemetery and then the driveway curves gently past the long, long sleep
of area residents. Bailey's Mills looks very southern with a two-story porch
and fluted columns. But this patrician facade belies its commercial origins
that were tied to the economic fortunes of the community that blossomed
here 200 years ago.
In 1794, Levi Bailey (1766-1850) purchased a dam and a mill here. The
following years brought some prosperity and expansions. By 1808, he required
the good will of David Hapgood, his next door neighbor, so he could buy more
land. But, in fact, Levi had so irritated Hapgood that he instead donated
the coveted acre to Reading for use as a town cemetery, ensuring that
Bailey could never control it. Thus was created "Spite Cemetery."
The nearest neighbors are always quiet.
Between 1800 and 1850 an industrial and commercial complex surrounded the
house. A woolen factory, 3 stories tall, plus other mills and a
blacksmith shop bustled with activity. Owners and employees lived in the brick
house. They shopped at the general store within. The "Store" is very rustic
with huge doorway, exposed beams and old stencilled drawers with (now)
exotic labels such as "Gum Myrrh" and "Snuff". An eclectic collection of
tools and household items fills the shelves.
The penny-pinching nature of old Levi Bailey survives in several stories.
One tells of a boy given a penny to spend in the store. He carefully
surveyed his possible choices and at last decided on the largest fig in a
box. Mr. Bailey took the cent and carefully regarded the fig. Then he
announced it was too large a fig for a cent and after taking a good-sized
bite from the fig, gave it to the astonished boy.
Bailey's Mills Bed & Breakfast
1347 Bailey's Mills Road
Reading, Vermont 05062 (802) 484-7809 (800) 639-3437
If you have trouble with the email link, please type the email address into the mail client of your choice (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc.). Thank you! Barbara Thaeder, Innkeeper
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