Today's Ballard Park
Ballard Park, on Main Street just north of the center of the village, is one of Ridgefield's treasures. Most people who visit it don't realize that it was once the site of one of the town's more historic homes.
Here, in the late 1700s, lived Colonel Philip Burr Bradley, Revolutionary War leader and a prominent town citizen for many years. In 1889, Lucius Horatio Biglow, a New York City music publisher, bought the property and expanded Bradley's gambrel-roofed colonial home into this much larger house, with fine, landscaped grounds and fancy stone and iron walls. He called the place Graeloe, a combination of his and his wife's (Graham) names -- with the Es to give it a Gaelic flavor. The name is etched on a pillar at one entrance. The house eventually became the home of the Biglows' daughter, Elizabeth B. Ballard, who was active in the garden club and other community endeavors. She bequeathed the property to the town in 1964; part of the bequest was that the house be torn down so that the property could be a park. Today, the park includes a playground, bandstand, and the Ballard Greenhouse, used by the Ridgefield and Caudatowa Garden Clubs. The backland of the property has become Ballard Green one of the town's housing for the elderly communities.
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