Rural America was especially hard hit by the Great Depression, so the WPA undertook many projects to spruce up small towns and put their people back to work. New London’s Hatten Memorial Park was typical. The city purchased a hundred acres for the park in 1935. Under WPA direction, and with the federal government footing a percentage of the bill, local residents built a swimming pool, picnic shelters, restrooms, a lagoon with foot-bridges, gateways, a retaining wall, and other park features. The most impressive facility they built was Hatten Memorial Stadium. Although designed to accommodate local baseball games and other athletic events, it looks more like a medieval fortress from the outside, with its random-coursed limestone walls and its four parapeted, round-arched entrance portals behind the grandstand. Lumber baron William Hatten donated $10,000 to the city for the stadium, on condition that it was named for him.
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Hatten Memorial Stadium
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