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This limited edition, commemorative book is a must have for anyone interested in Hartford, Connecticut history or the American Park Movement. Elizabeth Park is home to the oldest municipal rose garden in the United States. Considered the "garden park" of the Hartford Parks system, it is the repository of hundreds of beautiful plants, some of which are found nowhere else in the country. The park is also unique in its conceptual approach of offering botanical displays along with extensive recreational areas. This book explains how the history of the American Park and Forestry movements led to the development of the park. Published to celebrate the centennial of the famous Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, this book is designed to give the reader a pictorial tour of the park. The book features all aspects of the park including its perennial, annual, and rock gardens, trees, natural and architectural features, and activities. The 20 historical photographs are highly interesting and the 130 color photographs are spectacularly done by area photographer William Shepard. The cover art is by local artist Diana Lyn Cote.

About Us

About the author:

Alicia M. Cornelio grew up in the Hartford area and has fond memories of visiting Elizabeth Park. She is currently a librarian at Goodwin College Library in East Hartford, Connecticut. She is also the author of several articles on librarianship that have appeared in various education journals. She received her bachelor degree in Education and MLS from Central Connecticut State University. Her purpose in writing this book is to bring awareness to Harford's "gem", Elizabeth Park, and leave a lasting record of its rich history and beauty. She resides in the Hartford area with her husband David and son Geoffrey. This is her first book.

About the photographer:

William Shepard is a full time professional Ophthalmic photographer. In addition, he offers freelance portrait, wedding, and commercial photography. He enjoys immersing himself in projects that call for different expressions of creativity. This project provided such satisfaction and pleasure; strolling through the fragrant paths of roses, trees and flora, learning the history of the park, and meeting the wonderful people associated with it. He used a vintage Rolleiflex camera, a newer Hasselblad camera, and a Canon camera, in an attempt to capture the beauty of a park that can only really be appreciated by being there.

Reviews and Events


"A loving in-depth history. Even frequent visitors to the park will be surprised to learn some of the intriguing bits of information." Ethel Fried: Journal Inquirer

"Lovely! Contains photos and information not previously known to the public. What a lot of work!" Pam Weil: Connecticut Gardener Newsletter

"The text is engaging, especially the history of the park. And too much cannot be said of the value of the generous ration of photographs, both of beautiful flowers and of the history recorded in pictures." Dave Candler: President, Connecticut Rose Society

"A truly beautiful book!" Len Giddix: WTIC Garden Talk

"Contains little known facts about one of our favorite gardens" Hartford Magazine, Buzz: June, 2004

"Depicts a 'Century of Beauty' at Elizabeth Park" Carole Goldberg: Hartford Courant

"The pictures are breathtaking!" Sally Ouellette

Where you can find our book:

Elizabeth Park: A Century of Beauty is celebrating it's 10th anniversary!!

Unfortunately, so many local bookstores are gone as e-commerce has become standard practice for book purchases.

Below are the few bookstores where the book is still available:
Hartford Botanical Society Bookstore Hartford, CT
Hill-Stead Museum Farmington, CT
UCONN Book Coop Storrs, CT
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum Store Hartford, CT

Excerpts of Elizabeth Park A Century of Beauty

Click here to read excerpts and view pictures from the book.

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