Stratford, Conn. (WTNH) - Situated on 32 beautiful acres, Stratford's Boothe Memorial Park and Museum may be something of a mystery to many.
"People always say I've been living here all my life and I didn't know it was here," chairman Bessie Burton said.
From gorgeous rose gardens outside to a unique collection of twenty buildings with a lot to look at inside, "there is something under every rock so to speak," she said. "Everything you can uncover. A really interesting place."
Tour guide and Park chairman Bessie Burton says 20,000 to 30,000 people visit per year. One of the big attractions is an odd building called 'The Redwood'. It was built with the exotic material during the Great Depression.
"First redwood to come east of the Mississippi through the Panama Canal," she said.
The original plans called for five stories but it was finished at two.
"Everything inside is held together with galvanized dowels, no nails."
Be sure to check out the converted hay barn with the clocktower. In 1913, it was the first of all the museums to be erected on the property that once belonged to brothers David and Stephen Boothe. 18 other buildings also are showcased here.
"Some early things actually came over in the 1600's," Burton explained. "Early pewter tools, dishes and plates and things like that."
There are Native American artifacts and Civil War items too. How's this for a ghost from the past -- an actual Merritt parkway toll booth. Seems appropriate for Boothe Park.
And speaking of ghosts, there is a past history of paranormal activity.
"They seemed to have experienced something having to do with ghost experiences, so, especially in the house, that brings some interesting people."
Young people too.
"We have school programs here in the spring and fall. Kids learn about farming and life back in 1880.
Whether young or old the park fascinates, so take a few hours or even days to explore.
The park was willed to the Town of Stratford in 1949, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds are open year round.
Learn more about the park and special events going on at BootheMemorialPark.org
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