Brief History of Hubbard Park
In a report submitted in April 1908, Mr. Dow presented his ideas for the park. Among other things, he proposed building an observatory at the top of the hill. The highest point was on the land over the Capitol, which was owned by Jesse S. Viles (former owner of the Pavilion Hotel). At the time, it was located just outside the park. But the idea for the observatory was well received and must have won over Mr. Viles. In 1911 he deeded the Capitol Hill parcel to the park, along with "a strip of land three rods wide" that would provide an approach to the park (or what became Hubbard Park Drive).
Over the years, the infrastructure of the Hubbard Park has grown. In the 1930s the park road, some trails, picnic areas and fireplaces were improved and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, under the direction of Perry H. Merrill. In the late 1960s a youth group constructed a nature trail under the direction of Norman Hudson, the County Forester, and with the support of Sandal Cate. A grant from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation bought the Park a new picnic area and shelter, parking areas, Portal Field (a softball diamond and soccer field) and several picnic tables and grills. The fitness trail was constructed in 1985. In 1990, the Tower was refurbished and its 50-year-old iron stairway was replaced in order to maintain its safety and integrity.
The 50 acres kindly donated by William Heney and his family in 1990 includes the large deer yard. It was gifted to the park while the Heneys were developing residential housing on some adjoining land.
Habitats Around Hubbard Park
- A small pond
- Beech / maple and red oak trees
- Several small brooks
- White and red pine trees
- Yellow birch / hemlock forests