The Willey family was killed by a landslide on August 28, 1826, after one of the most violent rain storms to hit the region. The Saco River rose quickly overnight, carrying away buildings, livestock and other debris. The Willey family, who had escaped their home, fled to a stone shelter on the property. The whole family and their hired hands were all killed in the landslide. But the house, which was protected by a ledge from above, was spared any destruction, leaving the house in untouched condition.