William Beal

William Beal seems to have come to Packersfield before 1772. He took over the operations at the grist mill located at the outlet of Pleasant Pond (now Silver Lake, C-1-3) succeeding Daniel Wood.

In 1785 he left the mill business behind and moved to this location (B-3-11) to begin his life as a farmer. William and his wife, Molly, had three children: William Jr., born on 5 April 1791 here in Nelson; Nancy Beal Bresee, also born here n Nelson in 1793; and one other child.

Beal sold the farm to Henry Wheeler in 1802 and removed to Vermont. (Ancestry Record 8057 #3454766). He died in February of 1818 and is buried alongside Molly in the Meeting House Cemetery in Pittsfield, Vermont. (Memorial# 105819006)

During the next 38 years, Wheeler grew the farm from 50 to several hundred acres.  Henry’s son, Gilman Wheeler, succeeded his father upon his death in 1840 and held it for a year before selling to Alden Page (1857-1868). Samuel G. Knight (1868-1869) and Richard Beglin (1869-1872). Lawrence Collins followed (1872-1894) before Olivia Rodham acquired it as a summer place. The town re-opened the road to Chesham Depot (1900) to accommodate Ms. Rodham.