by Thomas Gray
Guilford Town Historian
Today, we look at the old and closed “Angel Inn.” that had an amazing history! It was first called Parson’s Inn, then the Pillars and later the Angel Inn.
The first settlers in the town began to arrive before the end of the Civil War. Two brothers who were the first settlers of Wilford by the name of Mersereau came in 1879. A new town began to grow as the family started the first Saw Mill. Plus, the early dirt roads enabled travel into the interior. By 1809 a stagecoach stop opened in what we call Guilford Center today. It was called Parson’s Inn from the Parson family who built and then opened it. It was in 18— that the Persides Meteor shower occurred and set fires, some in the woods near the inn. The fear of Doomsday filled our early settlers minds. The owner of the inn had a wooden Archangel Gabriel constructed by an itinerant wood carver who arrived on the stagecoach. The angel was hung on top of the entrance way to attract settlers who arrived on the stagecoach to remove the fear of the Lord.
Today, the angel is one of the most valuable pieces of American Folk in the US. Woodcarvers in the Guilford Historical Society created the first exact replica of the angel. It is now in a glass case in the Guilford Historical Society. The inn is now closed but the angel replica is now in our home for you to say “Hello”