History of Ballard Park

By Edith Meffley

The Ballard Park that we know today is just a small part of the land owned by Colonel Burr Bradley, Revolutionary War leader in the 1700’s, and bequeathed to the town in 1964 by Mrs. Elizabeth B. Ballard.  Her house on the park-like grounds was built by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lucius Horatio Biglow, a lawyer, music publisher, and poet.

Mrs. Ballard lived there for many years, brought up her daughters, was active in Ridgefield’s community affairs as a member of the Village Improvement Society and the Ridgefield Garden Club.  Mrs. Ballard stipulated that her house be razed so that people could have a village park and not be saddled with an old house.  She deeded the property with the purpose of leaving a public park, a quiet space, retaining as many of the trees and shrubs planted by her father as practicable.

The little greenhouse and the gardens were given to the Ridgefield Garden Club by Mrs. Cerf and Mrs. Doubleday, Mrs. Ballard’s daughters.  The greenhouse and perennial gardens have been restored and are maintained by club members for the enjoyment of the public and in memory of the former owner who loved her property and the pleasures of flower beds.

Retaining the historic integrity of the landscape that was home grounds for at least three generations of Biglows has been and is a commitment of the club.