1 HYDE PARK ROAD
Historic Name or Use
Woodlawn, the former estate of Julius Converse
Current Name or Use
Hyde Park Rd, Stafford Springs, CT 06076
About This Site
Hyde Park includes 150 acres nestled in the downtown area on the south side of Middle River. In 1897, Stafford native Isaac Perkins Hyde, owner of Hyde Manufacturing in Southbridge, Massachusetts, bequeathed funds to the town of Stafford to purchase land for a public park. Named Hyde Park, the park was to be maintained in perpetuity for the residents of Stafford. In 1911, the trustees of the fund chose the estate of Julius Converse, owner of the Mineral Springs Manufacturing Company, the Springs House, and the Mineral Springs to establish Hyde Park.
Stafford Soldiers Monument
Erected in 1924, the Soldiers’ Monument in the Stafford Springs section of town features a bronze statue on its front (east) face and is topped by a bronze eagle. The design reflects its relatively late dedication nearly 80 years after the end of the Civil War. No battles are listed, and the monument has very little lettering. The allegorical figure wears a hooded cloak. Her left-hand carries a wreath of forget-me-nots to symbolize immortality, along with palm leaves (glory), roses (love) and poppies (eternal rest). Near the top of the column, the east and west faces display torches along with an excerpt from the Pledge of Allegiance, “One nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The monument’s front face also displays the years of the Civil War inside a wreath. A dedication near the base reads, “The gift of Colonel Charles Warren to the town of his nativity.”
The north and south faces bear no lettering and display torches. The monument was funded with a bequest from Stafford native Charles Warren, a Civil War veteran who later became a merchant and banker. Warren, who died in 1920, also donated funds for the Warren Memorial Town Hall, which opened in 1924. The monument was created by sculptor Frederic Wellington Ruckstull, who also created the Sailors Monument in Baltimore and several busts at the Library of Congress. (information courtesy of CTMonuments.net)
The old Stafford High School, built in 1938-1939, replaced the first high school that stood behind the Borough School. The current high school was built in 1968, and at that time, this building became the Middle School, later the Witt Intermediate School.