James Baird State Park
The park is named after the donor of the land, James Baird. Baird, who held a Ph.D. in Engineering, formed for the construction company that erected the Lincoln Memorial and the Folger Shakespeare Library. He donated his land to the state in 1939 for a park.
The park offers picnic tables with pavilions, a playground and playing fields, recreation programs, hiking and biking, a nature trail and nature center, cross-country skiing, a sports complex that offers softball, volleyball, basketball, golf, tennis, and a food concession.
The park used to have a large community swimming pool, which was filled in by park management, in the 1980s. Today, the bathhouse and concession buildings still stand, locked up and unused. The former pool area is bounded by rows of large elm trees.
Baird Park, Located in the Town of La Grange, Dutchess County, New York would allow resident children of the Town of La Grange to use the swimming pool free of charge on Wednesdays, during the summer months, in the 1950s. There was a pool house with lockers and changing area, and showers. The pool was quite large and well maintained. It was surrounded by a wrought iron fence. It was a wonderful treat for La Grange residents. Many would walk miles to the park or bicycle over the rural roads. La Grange, at the time, was a farming town. The park was surrounded by dairy farms to the north, south and west and bordered by the south bound lanes of the Taconic State Parkway to the east. In addition to the pool there was a large roller skating rink adjacent to the pool.