This area was acquired in 1942 by the Cornell University Athletic Association, a private corporation associated with the Athletics and Physical Education Department of the university, for rock climbing use. Around the same time, CUAA also purchased a much larger parcel, southeast of the corner Speed Hill Road and Route 79, (about four miles west of the preserve) and developed it as a downhill ski slope. Both properties were then referred to by the name Tarr-Young Recreation Area. Apparently this property was never developed, or actively used for rock climbing. It was deeded to the university in 1973, and assigned to Cornell Botanic Gardens for management as a natural area in 2000.