The History of Hayes Arboretum
In 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
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
Stanley Begins to Protect Old Growth Forests
In 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.
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.