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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bailey Mills - Lost Treasure?

Once again, are you ready to grab your metal detectors, pickax and shovel?

Another Lost Treasure in Vermont?

This is the story of Levi Bailey and Bailey Mills.

Birth: 15 FEB 1766, Andover, Essex County, Mass.
Death: 21 OCT 1850, Reading, Windsor County, Vermont
Burial: Hapgood Cemetery:  Reading, Vermont ( a.k.a. "Spite Cemetery")

Levi moved from Massachusetts as a young man to Vermont in 1790. First settling in Hartland then in 1794, he purchased property in Reading, Vermont and built his home and this was where he established a woolen mill (3 stories tall), a milling operation consisting of a grist mill, a timber operation, a carding, a linseed oil mill, a black smith shop, a general store and a dam in the brook now known as Baileys Brook.   The home and the buildings,  became known as Baileys Mills.

Levi amassed great wealth, and he apparently did not put his money into banking institutions, apparently, he did not trust them.  He was known as being very frugal, and a "penny pincher."  Levi had a neighbor by the name of David Hapgood, who Levi tried to befriend (to purchase the property adjacent to his home and milling operation) and repeatedly offered to buy his land, but it was too late.  

Hapgood was not fond of Bailey, and donated the "coveted acre" of land for the purpose of a town cemetery, and when he died in 1829, was buried with in view of the Bailey estate, which was hence labeled "Spite Cemetery". Ironically, when Levi died in 1855, he was buried just 6 tombstones away from Hapgood, in the Hapgood Cemetery; thus, finally owning a permanent slice of this land.

On his death bed, his physician was the only one present.  He told the doctor that he had buried a great sum of money "in the woods, on the west side of the saw mill."  

Today, Bailey's Mills is a popular Bed and Breakfast nestled on a scenic and historic back road, in Reading...and you can get there from here.... it is advertised as: 

"A winding country road, rolling meadows, an old mill stream, an historic cemetery.
Yes, it's a quiet neighborhood."