Southern Maine Farm Bed and Breakfast
A Distinctive Property With 18th Century Charm
The Bagley-Bliss House is a large two-story, five-bay, double pile frame dwelling with a one-story ell. According to local tradition it was constructed about 1772 for O. Israel Bagley, and is considered to be the oldest house in Durham. However, the unmistakable Greek Revival style characteristics of the main block suggest that this section was either completely remodeled in the nineteenth century or was actually constructed at that time. During this period it was occupied by Charles Bliss, and it remained in the possession of his descendants until the 1970s.
The house has been awarded distinction and is on the National Register for its local architectural significance. O. Israel Bagley and his wife Mary (Snow) Bagley were among the earliest settlers in Durham, then known as Royalsborough. He was engaged in a number of business pursuits including the first store in the community, a potash manufactory, shoemaking, and the operation of a wind-powered grist mill. The town’s first school was held at the Bagley residence, which was also a public inn. O. Israel Bagley died in Savannah, Georgia of yellow fever during a voyage of the vessel “Mary Ann” of which he was the captain.