Several members of the Mead family contributed significantly to the war effort and to post-war Rutland and Vermont. All were descendants of James Mead, the first settler of Rutland.
John A. Mead, future governor of Vermont, served in the 12th Regiment.
Brothers Charles and Carlos (Eugene) Mead, cousins to John A. Mead, served in the First U. S. Sharpshooters Regiment. Charles was killed at Petersburg, Virginia; Eugene was wounded twice and imprisoned once.
Charles Mead was a prolific writer. His letters and diaries are a major source of information to Rutland Civil War historians.
The Mead building is on the site of the original Bates House, which was owned or co-owned by John A. Mead during the post-war period. In 1906 the building, 100% owned by John A. Mead, burned to the ground, and was subsequently rebuilt and officially named the Mead Building.