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Harkness Memorial State Park facts for kids

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Harkness Memorial State Park
The mansion and gardens from above
Harkness Memorial State Park is located in Connecticut
Harkness Memorial State Park
Harkness Memorial State Park
Location in Connecticut
Location Waterford, Connecticut, United States
Area 304 acres (123 ha)
Elevation 30 ft (9.1 m)
Designation Connecticut state park
Established 1950
Administrator Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Website Harkness Memorial State Park
Eolia—The Harkness Estate
Location Great Neck Road, Waterford, Connecticut
Area 220 acres (89 ha)
Built 1906-1907
Architect Lord & Hewlett; et al.
Architectural style Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Second Renaissance Revival
NRHP reference No. 86003331
Added to NRHP November 20, 1986

Harkness Memorial State Park is a historic preservation area with botanical garden and recreational features located on Long Island Sound in the town of Waterford, Connecticut. The state park's 304 acres (123 ha) center around Eolia, a 42-room Renaissance Revival mansion with formal gardens and greenhouses. The park is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.


The park was the former summer home of philanthropists Edward and Mary Harkness, who inherited the fortune created by Edward's father, Stephen V. Harkness, who was a substantial investor in John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. The mansion was designed by the New York architectural firm of Lord & Hewlett and constructed in 1906-1907. From 1918 to 1929, landscape designer Beatrix Jones Farrand made extensive improvements to the grounds, adding numerous formal gardens. The estate was left to the state by Mary Harkness in 1950 and became part of the state park system in 1952. Eolia—The Harkness Estate was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as a 220-acre (89 ha) historic district with 15 contributing buildings and two other contributing structures.

Activities and amenities

The park offers mansion tours, picnicking, and shoreline fishing as well as private event rentals.

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