Tarrywile Park & Mansion

 

The Mansion

  • Built in 1896 by the New York City architectural firm of "Chold and DeGol" for Dr. William C. Wile, Danbury's first medical examiner and princial benefactor of Danbury Hospital. Tarrywile Mansion, a sprawling 23 room home, sits atop a ridge known once as "Cedar Grove", on Southern Boulevard in Danbury, CT.
  • In 1909, Mrs. Wile, permanently crippled by a fall down the back stairs and no longer liking the resulting isolation, convinced Dr. Wile to sell the mansion and move closer to town.
  • In 1910 the house was sold to Charles Darling Parks, President of American Hatters and Furriers Co. Inc. the nations leading supplier of furs and hatting.
  • C.D. Parks expanded the property over the next several decades to include a farm, and vast woodlands. He enclosed the original estate with a stone wall, created a lake and several ponds, constructed a greenhouse and added a conservatory to the main house.
  • In 1918, C.D. purchased what is now known as "Hearthstone Castle" as a wedding gift for his daughter Irene, whose reception was the first to be held in the mansion.
  • In 1987 the Women's club of Danbury/New Fairfield in conjunction with the Charles Ives Center for the Arts, held a successful Designer Showhouse in the Mansion to further the completion of interior renovations.
  • In 1990, the Mansion opened as a Community center where weddings, parties, business functions, service club meetings, etc. are held.

 The Out Buildings

  • At one time, the family holdings totaled well over 1,000 acres including; one of the State's largest independant dairy farms, cornfields, peach and apple orchards.
  • To date, fourteen of the propertys 19 buildings have been restored, four of which are rental units with income generated going to the park to help with maintenance costs.
  • The Red Barn has been renovated for use as an environmental education center, complete with restrooms, allowing for greater use of the building by community groups.
  • The Greenhouse has been home to several Danbury Public School programs including, Danbury High Schools very successful "Garden Room" horticultural program.
  • In 2004, a meditation garden was established by the CAN organization headed by Phyllis Boughton, wife of Mayor Mark Boughton. This garden leads to, and surrounds the gazebo and provides space for quiet meditation and reflection.
  • A Children's Garden was opened in October 2000 in and area of the Park once known for it's beautiful Japanese Gardens.

The City of Danbury

  • In 1985, the City of Danbury purchased the estate consisting of 19 buildings and 535 acres for $4.7 million, designating the property for passive recreational use.
  • In 1989, the Tarrywile Park Authority was extablished by an ordinance of the Common Council of the City of Danbury to oversee the operation of Tarrywile Park. It is a nine member volunteer Board charged to administer, operate and maintain Tarrywile Park & Mansion.
  • In November 1999 the voters of Danbury approved the purchase of 100 acres of land adjacent to Tarrywile Lake.
  • August 2000 saw an additional 18 acres purchased near the beacon, bring the total to 653 acres. Over the course of the next several years additional acres were added to the Park bringing the total acerage to 722.

The Trails

  • July 1994 marked the official opening of Tarrywile Park hiking trail system.
  • By the summer of 2004, twenty-one miles of trails had been marked and a new trail map was distrubuted.
  • June 2006 a pre-opening was held for the Ives Trail. This 17 plus mile trail winds its way from Bethel's Terre Haute property through Tarrywile Park and on to Pine Mountain and Bennett's Pond in Ridgefield

The Meserve Memorial Fund

  • In 1997, through a grant from the Meserve Memorial fund, the park established an environmental education library which is housed in the Mansion Conference room.
  • In 1999, a gazebo was constructed in the upper Mansion orchard area funded by a Meserve Memorial Fund grant.
  • In 2007 The Meserve funded the establishment of an artiface filled environmental Center in the Red Barn.

The future of Tarrywile is bright. The Common Council approved the Park Master Plan of Development in April 2004. Many community groups have come forward to help establish community activities and to maintain the park and support its passive recreation theme. We hope you enjoy your visit to Tarrywile and will come back again and again to discover all that the Park and Mansion has to offer. We invite you to visit often to observe our progress in polishing this diamond in the rough into one of the largest municipally owned passive recreation parks in the State of Connecticut.

 

 

 

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