Citizens Approve Parks Property Purchase

City to Purchase Parks Property

This article was written in 1986, shortly after the citizens of Danbury unanimously voted to purchase what is now known as Tarrywile Park & Mansion.

Many of them were natives born in Danbury; many were newcomers who were happy to have settled in a place so handsomely endowed by the best that American “nature” has to offer. There were housewives, nurses, tradesmen, lawyers, electricians, teachers, merchants, blue collar workers, Boy Scouts, mothers, plumbers, farmers, salesmen, in short, Yankees of every variety who were moved to assemble repeatedly and exert themselves in the forgotten and oft-overlooked choices of a dynamic city democracy. They were Republicans, they were Democrats, they were anti-nuke and pro-Reagan, they were young, they were old, and they were neither this nor that. In one thing they were, however, all the same, all united. None of them was indifferent. They were people who shared a love of their community and though not in general resistant to the forces of “progress,” they were nonetheless committed all to checking what seemed to be the all engulfing engines of progress that were fast advancing all over the land.

C.D. Parks Heirs to Sell

The citizens of Danbury saw in the last reasonable and generous offer of the C. D. Parks heirs to sell to the city and its people the enormous parkland their father and grandfather had amassed, a final window on the grandeur and beauty of our local New England landscape, a window that would close without their mobilizing. They saw in the remarkable Tarrywile Mansion and farm, and in the awesome Hearthstone Castle, treasures of the American entrepreneurial past that time might at last be turning over to the American people. And so they met. And they held public forums to educate and motivate their fellow citizens. They canvassed neighborhoods. They wrote letters. They decorated the town with their ardent messages, posters, billboards, ads wherever they could place them. They collected funds. They went into their own pockets. They opened their homes. they held tempers in check when adversary government baited them. They never fought dirty. They made phone calls. They opened the property and the mansion and ran professionally rehearsed tours on 3 successive Sundays in April of 1985. They dreamed, they cried privately and they looked daily to the hills in hope, and they prayed. In short, they captured, if not created, the spirit of the Danbury community of the spring of 1985, in a rare and wondrous demonstration of how the democratic process can work when the people themselves participate.

Landslide Vote in Favor of Purchase

Their efforts resulted in a landslide vote in favor of the purchase, and because their work was a triumph for our generation of preservationists and hopefully for all generations of Danburians to come.

*Reprinted from the May 24, 1986 Program Booklet for the Danbury Preservation Trust’s Sunderland Award.

As you can see, the purchase of the Parks Property was put in front of the citizens of Danbury to vote on. They had a choice, regardless of the City’s opposition to the purchase at that time, and the citizens of Danbury overwhelmingly voted in favor of purchasing the land and preserving the historic Mansion, and Hearthstone Castle. Unfortunately it’s too late to save Hearthstone, but it’s not too late to ensure Tarrywile Mansion and it’s 722 acres continue to be a beautiful example of a bygone era and a promise to future generations that they will have always have a place to go to experience the wonders of nature at it’s finest.

So please consider donating to Tarrywile Park, or contact your elected representatives and let them know that the Danburians of today are in agreement with the Danburians of the past, the Parks Property (Tarrywile Park & Mansion) is worth fighting for and must continue to be funded in the same manner as all city parks, since that’s exactly what it is. Voted for, overwhelming approved by, the citizens of Danbury