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Newsletter | September 23, 2023

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Trivia question

Before the creation of Elizabeth Park, the approximate site of the park’s famous rose garden was used for a popular sporting activity on Sunday afternoons. What was it?

For the answer, see the end of this newsletter.


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* Requires paid subscription, usually after a certain number of free articles.

Trivia question answer

Rose garden at Elizabeth Park

The next time you visit the rose garden at Elizabeth Park, imagine standing in the middle of a horse-racing track instead.

Charles Murray Pond, son of a wealthy railroad president and a prominent businessman himself, operated a “gentleman’s farm” on his estate, which straddled Prospect Avenue. He bred trotters there and built a dirt track for racing them. By the time of his death in 1897, the property totaled 90 acres. He bequeathed it to the city for the creation of a park, with a stipulation that it be named in honor of his wife, Elizabeth.

To learn more about the Pond family and the creation of Elizabeth Park, visit the park’s website and listen to “America’s First Public Rose Garden—Elizabeth Park,” a fascinating episode of the podcast Grating the Nutmeg, hosted and produced by Mary Donohue.

More trivia questions at HartfordHistory.net

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