In the 1880's, the Portland and Ogdensburg constructed a series of section houses every few miles through Crawford notch. With the serious danger of avalanche damage and deep snow constantly plaguing the line, the railroad stationed small section crews along each segment of track in order to keep the traffic moving through the notch. Willey House was one of these mountainside section houses.
There is some possibility of confusion about the name. Within a few short miles of track, there is a Mt. WillEY and a Mt. WillARD. To add to the confusion, the Mt. WillARD section house (described elsewhere) is at the edge of WillEY Brook. No small wonder if you are confused. Check the map if you still have no clue.