About Bonnie Besse

A Word from Bonnie

Bonnie Besse

Bigelow Village was founded in 1947 by my parents Ernest and Chatty Bigelow. At that time my parents owned a local ‘Mom & Pop’ grocery store in the center of town. A gentleman stopped in one day and asked if he could park his Airstream Mobile Home in the field beside Dad’s house. Mom and Dad decided that that would be okay. The gentleman liked the location and Rutland so much that he decided to stay on. Then, someone else asked if they could park their mobile home there also, and on it goes.

Over the years, Dad upgraded the property and installed town water and sewer lines, and paved the road. He filed the necessary paperwork with the Attorney General to make the property a legal Land Lease Park. The rules and regulations that govern the park owners and protect the homeowners are governed by the fact that Bigelow Village is a Land Lease Park. Most important to our homeowners is that there is no real estate tax assessed on these homes. Property taxes are assessed on the upgraded value and paid by myself.Now that we at the park are celebrating 60 years of community living, I decided that it was time to make this property what I always felt it should be. It is important to me that our homeowners feel a sense of pride and enjoyment in their surroundings. I approached the town of Rutland a few years ago and was approvingly given permission to expand and upgrade the park. To commemorate this new era in the life of the community, I decided to change and rename the park to Bigelow Village in honor of my father.

To date we are finishing the upgrade to the water and sewer systems. The current homeowners have been very understanding and patient during this process, which deeply I appreciate. Their cooperative commitment to bettering our community speaks volumes; the current homeowners’ patience with this process has been very gracious, as at times is is difficult to live among the construction. Once this project is complete, we will be paving Lewis Street and Lantern Lane. (Click here to see the Bigelow Village plan.)

Most of the original homes have been removed and replaced by lovely and contemporary energy-star rated homes by Ritz-Craft. As the remaining existing homes come on to the market, we will continue replacing them with these beautiful contemporary homes.  Finally, the streets are to be illuminated with historically-styled street lanterns (just like on our Bigelow Village logo), and live plantings to include flowering Pear trees. Other landscaping features are then to be installed including a gazebo and community garden for all to enjoy.

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit us. Please feel free to contact me if I can offer you any additional information, or if you are interested in joining our community at Bigelow Village.

Bonnie B. Besse