The History of Hayes Arboretum

Early Indiana
Administration Building - Original Homesteader's Log CabinIn the early 1800's, the territory known as Indiana was wild and undeveloped and several regions were covered by Beech-Maple Forest. In 1816, when the Indiana territory became a state, there were few major water ways in the east-central part of the state and fewer major road ways.

Pioneers Arrive
About 1820 a family made their way through the wilderness to settle in an area northeast of the village of Richmond. They cleared an area in the woods and built a log cabin. They planted a vegetable garden and an herbal garden. The soil was dark and rich and they worked hard to clear the trees so they could create crop fields and pastures. After more than a decade of clearing they had expanded their operations enough that they needed a large barn and it was built in 1833. They continued to develop and clear the land and build their cattle and farming business.

Stanley Begins to Protect Old Growth Forests
Young Stanley HayesIn June of 1915, Stanley Hayes began purchasing tracts of land in order to preserve and protect some of the old growth Beech-Maple Forest. Stanley Hayes realized that much of the old forest that he was familiar with was becoming scarce as natural areas were being developed. In the early 1930's, just about one hundred years after the barn had been built, Stanley purchased the old homestead farm you just read about. Stanley had a different vision for the land than did the original homesteaders. He began re-foresting the land, planting thousands of native trees and creating experimental plots.

Stanley had a desire to preserve and restore the land as it was when the first pioneers pushed through this area. Stanley Hayes wanted to re-create and protect the natural heritage that this land had to offer.

Education Continues...
Hayes Arboretum carries a rich history. The old homestead log cabin is now serving as our Administration Building and the old barn serves as our Nature Center. We continue to promote awareness and appreciation of Indiana's natural heritage.

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Hayes Arboretum  ▪  801 Elks Road   ▪  Richmond, Indiana  47374  ▪  765-962-3745