Hachaliah Lyman Bailey

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Hachaliah Lyman Bailey's Geni Profile

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Hachaliah Lyman Bailey

Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Somers, NY, USA
Death: Died in Somers, NY, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of James Bailey and Anne Bailey
Husband of Mary Rafter Bailey
Father of Calista Crosby and Lewis Bailey
Brother of Elizabeth Bailey; Stephen Bailey; Susannah Bailey; Lewis Bailey; Jane Bailey and 4 others

Managed by: John Lawrence Dooley, Jr
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Hachaliah Lyman Bailey


Hachaliah Bailey (pronounced heck-a-LIE-uh) (1775–1845) is the eponym of Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia and a relative to several famous individuals involved in early American circuses (having founded one of his own). Bailey moved to Northern Virginia in 1837 from Westchester County, New York, and, on December 19, 1837, bought the land at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Columbia Pike in Fairfax County, Virginia just outside Falls Church, Virginia, that land now known as Bailey's Crossroads. Hachaliah Bailey established the Elephant Hotel, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005.



In 1808, while residing in Somers, New York, Bailey purchased an African elephant for $1,000 and named it "Old Bet." Old Bet appears to be one of the first elephants brought to the United States; she had previously been on exhibit in Boston in 1804, but Bailey found her for sale four years later in a New York City cattle market.

Bailey originally planned to use Old Bet as a draught animal on his farm, but she attracted so much attention that he decided to found a travelling menagerie instead. He started out to show Old Bet with a wagon of hay, a horse to draw it, and an assistant. The admission fee for an entire family was either a coin or a 2-gallon jug of rum. In 1808, Hachaliah Bailey rented two-thirds of Old Bet to Benjamin Lent and Andrew Brown, who also had a right to display her.

On July 24, 1816, Old Bet was killed while on tour near Alfred, Maine by a farmer who thought it sinful for poor people to waste money on a travelling circus, and Bailey memoralized her in 1825 with a statue and the Elephant Hotel in Somers, New York.

Link: http://www.sideshowworld.com/13-TGOD/2006/tgodBaileysCrossroads.html

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Hachaliah Lyman Bailey's Timeline

July 31, 1775
Somers, NY, USA
December 31, 1791
Age 16
Somers, Westchester County, New York, United States
July 15, 1803
Age 27
Somers, Westchester, New York, USA
September 2, 1845
Age 70
Somers, NY, USA