In colonial times the broad floodplain that is now Haddam Meadows State Park played an important role in the agricultural economy of the area. Fertilized each year by spring flooding along the banks of the Connecticut River, it yielded abundant crops of hay and grain. After the harvest, the meadow was used as common pasture for all who owned livestock in Haddam.
Situated on the channel side of the river, the meadows were important in the last century as a shipping point. River steamers brought cargoes from New York and returned loaded with products like firewood or gin. Later, the railroad did a flourishing business carrying people to and from Saybrook to Hartford. Several local train stops were situated within the boundaries of the present park.
The park was created in 1944 with a gift of 154 acres from the Hazen Foundation