Hachaliah Bailey

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Hachaliah Bailey (pronounced heck-a-LIE-uh) (Jul 31, 1775 – Sep 2, 1845) is the eponym of Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia and a relative to several famous individuals involved in early American circuses. In 1808, he purchased an elephant which he named "Old Bet" that became the first circus elephant in the United States. With the elephant, he formed the Bailey Circus which also included a trained dog, several pigs, a horse and four wagons.[1]

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.


  1. ^ Goodwin, George G. (October 1951). "The Crowninshield Elephant". Pick from the Past. Natural History. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 

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