Connecticut’s first governor, John Winthrop Jr., owned a portion of the farm in 1648. Over the years, the land had various owners, including the Chester family in the 18th century, whose headstones are still on the property. Caleb Haley eventually became owner and he farmed the land in the late 19th to 20th centuries. His hobby of building stone walls can still be seen today. Remains of the old farm’s buildings can still be seen near the entrance of the park.
In 1963, efforts to protect the farm from being sold to developers began. The State of Connecticut agreed to match funds raised for the purchase of the farm. The Groton Open Space Association with the help of The CT Forest & Park Association led a successful fund raising effort that led to the purchase of the property. In July of 1970, Life Magazine featured an article on Haley Farm titled “Battles Won”. Haley Farm became an official Connecticut State Park in July of 1970. Nearby Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve was protected from great development pressures and was saved in 1975. It can be reached from Haley Farm via a bridge over the railroad tracks. The two parks, combined, offer over 1000 acres of land and are permanently protected as open space for public enjoyment. www.ct.gov
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