“premier as well as the oldest park in Mishawaka”
Battell Park remains the premiere park in the City of Mishawaka, as well as the oldest. Since its official dedication as a city park in 1881, Battell Park has provided the city and its residents an important recreational and cultural resource. Today the park and its unique features remain an important reminder to the different periods of development in the City. The City of Mishawaka Historic Review Board and the Mishawaka Board of Parks and Recreation realized the importance of the park as a link to the past and have sought ways to protect and improve the park. In July of 1994, the park was designated as a single-site historic district in the City. At that time both organizations expressed interest in a National Register Nomination for the Park. In August of 1995, a National Register Nomination was completed. In the fall of 1881, a landscape gardener named McClunnie was hired to survey and plat the park. Shortly thereafter in 1884 a Civil War Memorial was constructed in the park that symbolized the patriotic and civic minded attitude of the community's early residents. The turn of the century brought about an expanded role for the park as a vital entertainment feature of the community with the construction of the bandshell. The Great Depression and a need for an economic development initiative led to the construction in the 1930's of the historic rock wall and rock garden as part of a WPA project. These structures all remain today as well as some additional facilities that make Battell Park as popular of a local recreational spot as it was in the 1800's.
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