DATELINE: Mill Circle’s Treat
For the first time in many years, the Great Barn of Mill Circle was opened to the public.
And, crowds came out for a “barn sale,” of many items collected over the past four decades by the previous two owners.
Of all the curios, we were able to purchase a replica signage of the Old Homestead Tavern that graced Mill Circle from 1820 to 1827 when the stage depot and inn that catered to peddlers went into folklore as a haunted house. The original draw was a mineral spring called immodestly, “The Virtuous Spring.”
The house is long gone, but its companion barn still stands, impressive. Many visitors were extremely curious about its age and history. We were able to tell a few that we had written the barn’s history a few years ago. The book is available to those interested on Amazon under the modest title The Great Barn of Mill Circle.
A new book is forthcoming that details the barn’s role in the infamous murder of a peddler on the Fourth of July in 1826. It is called, not surprisingly, Murder at Mill Circle.
Those who came on this lovely June day were able to buy antiques, bric-a-brac and assorted junk, as suited their tastes, but they were not able to do a full tour of the barn. Its back section was shut. Its tack room closed to viewers who could not see inside. The stairs up to the loft and stable-boy’s apartment was blocked. A view directly up to the cupola was closed to audiences.
And yet, the visitors were awestruck by the architecture and solid construction that has weathered two centuries as the focal point of Mill Circle.
We think a murder victim was hidden in the cellar in 1826—and though his bones have escaped detection, we think the early graveyard of the neighborhood is in the rear. We’d need ground-penetrating radar to be sure if it is a cemetery of a few long-forgotten residents—and one murdered peddler.
And we want to share our extraordinary experience today with you.