The area which is now known as Elizabeth Park was once owned by Charles M. Pond. Mr. Pond was a wealthy industrialist and statesman whose career included being a Director of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, Hartford Hospital, and the Phoenix Fire Insurance Company. Mr. Pond was also President of the Hartford Trust Company and he was Treasurer of the State of Connecticut.
When Mr. Pond passed away, he willed his estate to the City of Hartford with the stipulations that it be used as a horticultural park and that it be named for his wife, Elizabeth, who had died a few years earlier.
The City hired Theodore Wirth as its first park superintendent to design the garden areas. Mr. Wirth's first project was to create a rose garden because, in his words, "it would please the people." This first planting grew from 100 bushes to the two and a half acre garden of some 15,000 bushes that is the center piece of Elizabeth Park and is known throughout the world.
Today the park encompasses 102 acres and boasts many garden areas, pathways, greenhouses, lawns, a picnic grove, a pond and recreation areas.