Austin Corbin (1827–1896) was a native of Newport, New Hampshire. He finished Harvard Law School and Practical Law, moving to Iowa in 1851 with his brother. After many land speculations proved profitable, Corbin established a bank but soon became restless and moved to New York to establish the private banking firm of Austin Corbin and Company.
Corbin later hired on at a woodland estate on Long Island where he started his first game farm, quickly finding himself running out of space for his animals. He returned to New Hampshire to establish a park on land around the Croydon and Grantham Mountains. He purchased a total of 60 farms with buildings, acquiring 275 separate deeds. Corbin named his park Blue Mountain Forest and stocked it with three kinds of deer as well as elk, wild boar, moose, caribou, mountain goats, beaver, pheasants and bison.
Corbin died in North Newport in 1896 in a carriage accident caused by a runaway horse. Two years after his death there were 75 bison in the park, but by 1908 Austin Corbin Jr. reported that the park’s herd had now increased to 165. From this stock the younger Corbin contributed to government-sponsored herds in national game preserves in Montana and North Carolina. Other animals were loaned or sold to zoos, as well as to owners of private preserves in New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Austin Corbin’s New Hampshire experiment contributed greatly to preserving the American bison from extinction.