Minnie Island State Park

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Minnie Island State Park
Connecticut State Park
Country   United States
State   Connecticut
County New London
Towns Montville, Salem
Elevation 397 ft (121 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°30′21″N 72°13′19″W / 41.50583°N 72.22194°W / 41.50583; -72.22194
MINNIE ISLAND STATE PARK Latitude and Longitude:

41°30′21″N 72°13′19″W / 41.50583°N 72.22194°W / 41.50583; -72.22194
Area 1 acre (0 ha) [2]
Established 1925
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Minnie Island State Park

Minnie Island State Park is a state-owned recreation area occupying a tiny island split by the line separating the towns of Salem and Montville at the southern end of 529-acre (214 ha) Gardner Lake [3] in New London County, Connecticut, United States. [4] The 0.88-acre (0.36 ha) island is the smallest state park in Connecticut. [5] Writers working for the WPA in the 1930s described it as "a pine-grown knoll rising from the lake's depths." [6] It is accessible only via boat and offers opportunities for picnicking and fishing [4] as well as general exploration in a largely deserted setting. [7]


In the 19th century, the island was owned by a popular music teacher, the founder of Salem's Music Vale Seminary, Oramel Whittlesey (1801-1876). Whittlesey named the island for a niece nicknamed Minnie. [8] In the 1920s, the claims of squatters led to the discovery that although the island was claimed by both Salem and Montville, it was not on the tax rolls of either town. [7] In solving the dilemma, the state assembly rejected the squatters' proposed legislation, instead passing a law in 1925 that took possession of the island for the state and turned its management over to the state park's commission. [9]


The island has a steep shoreline with gray outcropped ledges that offers few opportunities for docking. [7] It rises approximately sixteen feet from the surface of Gardner Lake which lies at an elevation of 381 feet (116 m). [10] Its northern shore drops off into the deepest portion of Gardner Lake, some 36 feet (11 m). [3] The island is thickly forested with mountain laurel undergrowth amidst large red oaks. A clearing at the summit may be littered with the detritus of previous visitors. There are no facilities of any kind and no signage. [7]


Minnie ... Island ... State ... Park ...



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