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.
Stanley W. Hayes, in his wisdom, established a Foundation to manage the assets of his estate, including the land that he had so carefully assembled earlier in the century beginning in 1915. That Foundation, known as Stanley W. Hayes Research Foundation, Inc. was chartered on December 5, 1959. His eldest son, Brice, an entrepreneur, inventor and owner of a railway appliance business in Chicago, Illinois was selected to be the chief executive of both the railway appliance business in Richmond (Hayes Track Appliance Company) and the newly-formed Foundation upon Stanley's passing in May of 1963 at the age of 97.
Importance of Educating Young People Established Early
The estate, known then as Hayes Arboretum, had a very successful "Grand Opening" on April 28, 1963 with more than 1,000 cars traveling over the gravel roads within the Arboretum to see the native beauty of the Arboretum at the onset of Spring. From 1963 through 1969, Brice Hayes had the duel roles of heading up the Foundation and leading Hayes Track Appliance Company. Plans were made in 1964 for the first children's summer classes in nature with 98 students attending classes in Stanley Hayes House. In 1966, with the inspiration of Mildred Hayes, the former Hill Dairy Barn, dating from 1833, was converted into a nature center, offering meeting space and nature exhibits.
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.