Camp Harkness History

History of Camp Harkness
 
Camp Harkness was originally part of the neighboring Harkness Estate, now Harkness Memorial State Park.  The estate served as the summer residence of the Harkness family, where philanthropist Mary Harkness often hosted children with polio during the summer season.  Through her will, Mary Harkness in 1952 deeded the portion now known as Camp Harkness to the State of Connecticut for perpetual use by those stricken with polio, “handicaps”, and veterans.  Originally operated as a state park by the CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Camp was turned over to the CT Department of Developmental Services (formerly the CT Department of Mental Retardation) in 1977.  The property is managed by the South Region of DDS.