The history of Glenwood Mill dates back to Stephen Bailey, son of Joseph Bailey. Stephen was born January 11, 1760. He married Huldah Whitney on January 15, 1790. On May 26, 1794, Stephen purchased 53 and 46 one hundredth acres for 46 pounds seventeen shillings current money of the sate of New York, it being a part of the tract surveyed by the King of England to James Drummond Lundin, the “Earl of Perth.” This was a wilderness tract of land and Stephen found his way by a footpath where he encountered hardships incident to pioneer life. Stephen Bailey was a man of great muscular strength and stood over six feet in height and was a man of considerable enterprise and business ability. Prior to his death in 1819, he had acquired a large landed estate. Stephen and Huldah had 10 children and willed each of them a parcel of land. One child got the tract of land with the Mill.
There were three different mills on this tract, thus the large print on the front of the mill today – Glenwood Mills 1805-1888. The first mill further up the stream, built by Stephen Bailey, was near his log cabin. No vestige remains. The second mill burned. The third mill was a two-floor structure built in 1805, the same mill of today with additions and repairs added. The 1805 mill stood the ravages of time through all these years. In 1888 they had a raising day. Farmers turned out with long wooden poles that were used to reach the lumber up for the third floor. When finished, before the milling machines were added, a gala celebration was held.
The early owners of the mill were Daniel Decker, and Abram and Isaac Owen. Isaac Owens sold the mill to Nathaniel Townsend who built the 1805 mill. Benjamin Fuller purchased the mill in 1867. He operated the mill until 1887 when it was sold at a Sheriff’s sale to Captain Bailey, the grandson of Steven Bailey. Daniel Bailey remodeled the mill in 1887 with the latest, most modern grain milling machines at a cost of $30,000 dollars, an unbelievable sum in that day. In fact, his wife took him to task for doing it.
The millers who ran the mill for Captain Bailey were Mr. Fuller, Mr. Townsend, John Smith and Mr. Wright. A second John Smith worked at the mill (not related to the previous John Smith and was asked to actually run the mill when Mr. Wright became disabled).
The burrstones were imported from France. They were incised in a circular wooden box and known as a jat or hoop. The noise of the stones told the miller whether they were grinding right. Turbines replaced the water wheel in 1887 though they did not prove successful. The old water wheel was broken up for metal and sold to the government during World War I. The mill was noted for making the finest flour in the area.
In 1919, due to electrification and bakers bread, the mill stood idle. It became the home of hoot owls, squirrels, bats, mice and rats. During 1941 Dan Van Duzer, grandson of Captain Bailey was an heir to his estate. None of the other heirs were interested in the mill and they agreed to let Daniel have it if he would clear up the back taxes owned on the property. It was in the spring of 1941 when Daniel moved some of his belongings into the mill. His wife, Ethel, could vision that the old mill could be cleaned up and made into a good place to spend their summers. After the mill was cleaned, a celebration around the milling equipment took place. There was dancing on the first floor, ladies on the second floor where they could have more quiet and eight tables of card playing on the third floor. The activities that took place from 1941 to the present day the are too numerous to mention.
Daniel’s first task was to build a water wheel. He collected the necessary information and material to make a wheel during his three weeks of vacation time. Daniel made a large 12-foot wheel that would turn with very little water. It was placed in the same spot where the early wheel had been. The current owners' eldest son, Anthony, refurbished the wheel in 2004.
Many articles have been written about the mill in several different newspapers. One article stated the mill was the most unusual home in the coastal region. Beginning in 1998, the new owners, Hank & Sue Capro purchased the mill and converted it into a bed and breakfast which has been featured on HGTV’s program, “If Walls Could Talk.”
Marion Nicholl Rawson writes in her book, Little Old Mills – To Mill or to Meet In. How true. After many years of slumber, 1919 to 1941, one hopes it will go on for years to come – “a special mill that people will enjoy!”