For history lovers, the Guilford Historical Society (GHS) can tell you all about the Town’s famous people, inventions, “Pineapple cheese”, cemeteries, railroads, cotton batten factory,creameries, iron works, tanneries, blacksmiths, and more. The GHS calls “The Klee House”, a beautifully renovated white Victorian house, its home. They exhibit many old relics found at the bottom of Guilford Lake that give a slice of life from several decades ago. The Klee House is located next to Doug Taylor’s Praiseworthy Antiques on Rte. 35/Main Street. One of their prized possessions is a replica wooden carving of an angel that used to hang in “The Angel Inn” (later known as “The Pillars”), a hotel and an old stage coach stop in Guilford Center. The incredible restoration of the Roots Corners School House is a recent accomplishment of the GHS. If you thirst for knowledge of the past, they welcome new members.
The hamlet of Guilford was once known as Fayette. It is situated on Guilford Creek fed mainly from Guilford Pond which was once called Cable Pond and today is know as Guilford Lake. In the 1800's the O & W Railroad ran through it. The hamlet contained three churches, one district school, one hotel, three general stores, one hardware store, one newspaper office (The Guilford Wave), one grist mill, one saw and feed mill, a shingle and planing mill, a furniture and cheese-box manufactory, a foundry and machine shop, three blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, a butter-tub manufactory, two harness shops and a population of about 300.
William Gilbert, father of Rufus Gilbert who originated the elevated railway in NYC, opened a store in 1836. Eastman, Spaulding & Co, locally known as the East India Co. were early and prominent merchants. K. Eugene Bunnell, hardware merchant started a dry goods business in 1869 and designed the "iron-clad milk pan" which was patented.
The post-office was established in 1838 and Erastus Dickinson was the first postmaster. The first physician was Dr. John Clark who moved to Guilford in 1833.
The Guilford Iron works was established in 1845 by Andrew Bradbury and Niram Merchant. Andrew Merchant invented the Merchant waterwheel which was used on Guilford Creek
In 1839 the Guilford Mills,for flour and grist, was built and owned by Charles Windsor and W.O.Nash.
The first organ made west of the North River was constructed around 1819 by Elsworth Phelps at the age of 16
The hotel was in 1879 owned by C.M.Feek. It was the building that was first the site of the tavern by one of the first settlers of Guilford, John Dibble in 1798.