The Edward Lee, Senior Place

Lees Mill Road, Lunenburg County, VA

Submitted by Bonnie Bailey Watts

daughter of Frank Bailey (1919-2015)

September 4, 2016

 

Driver of the car beside the Lee house was Morgan Bailey (grandfather of the submitter), the children were his sons, (Henry Bailey in front), Frank Bailey (with bow tie), Morris Bailey (behind Frank), and Charlie Bailey in his mother, Eva Bailey's lap (my grandmother). The other lady in the shadows in the back seat is unidentified

 

When Daddy was about one year old, his family moved about one mile away to the Lee Place with Uncle Floyd Bailey.  The Lee house was located on Lee's Mill Road, a little over a mile from the intersection with Ontario Road.

 

Years ago Willie Tyler Robertson's Store was at this intersection.  The Lee house was a distance off the road on the right before Lee's Mill and the Middle Meherrin River.  From a young boy's sharp observation and listening to elders, Daddy remembered that almost two hundred acres of open land was on the property, along with a slave house that was still standing, and the Lee family cemetery.  In the early 1920's, Warren Lang's Daddy from Ohio lived at the Lee Place.  Before moving back to Ohio, Mr. Lang put a fence around the cemetery, built a stable, and put up a chicken lot.

The Lee house was a large thirteen-room house with seven fireplaces.  There were two rooms on the third floor, and in one of those rooms was an old abandoned spinning wheel, left there by some unknown person.  A huge spiral staircase went through the center of the house …three stories high.  Daddy and his brothers often slid from the top floor to the bottom on the stair rails and Grandma Bailey never said anything to them, which was out of character for her since she was always cautious and particular.  Thinking back, Daddy, who was always a daredevil, realized how dangerous that could have been for a little boy!  A colonnade with a slate floor divided two sections of the house.  The well was just outside the back door, a few steps from the kitchen.

Situated below the main house, Daddy estimated that the mill, itself, was about one hundred yards from the dirt road and bridge crossing the river.  Although not positive, we have heard the bridge was built around 1920.The mill's water wheel turned, grinding corn and wheat. Daddy remembered that a Mr. Pool who had a son named Earl, lived at the mill and ran it for a while, and a Mr. York took over after he left. 

Daddy's immediate family left the Lee house in 1927 and moved several miles up the road, and other close relatives moved in.  The problem with the Lee House was that it had wooden shingles, and sparks from the fireplaces had already caused several small roof fires.  Uncle Floyd put a very long ladder against the house, and had used it before to put out the fires.  Making matters worse, there was moss on top of the shingles, so it wasn't surprising that the Lee House burned on a windy Sunday in 1935. - Bonnie Bailey Watts 9-4-2016