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The original item was published from 12/10/2015 2:18:00 PM to 4/21/2016 9:51:32 AM.

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Posted on: December 10, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Petrifying Springs Honors Works Projects Administration

WPA Memorial

Kenosha County Parks has recognized the past accomplishments of the Works Projects Administration (WPA) at Petrifying Springs Park with a monument located along the Pike River to the north of parking lot #4. The memorial includes a 4,000 pound granite boulder and plaque alongside the original gate and control mechanism used from the dam constructed by the WPA in the 1930s. The dam was built to impound water for irrigating the golf course and became obsolete in 1976. In 2012, the dam and adjacent foot bridge were removed.

In December 1933, workers hired in the Work Projects Administration, were enlisted to help build the infrastructure seen today in Petrifying Springs Park. At the program’s highpoint, 427 men were working in Petrifying Springs Park. Over the ten-year duration of the program, over 3,000 men worked on park improvement projects within Petrifying Springs Park.

The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments. It was designed to employ mostly unskilled men out of work because of the Great Depression and ultimately provided eight million jobs from 1935 to 1944. Petrifying Springs Park was one of 15,000 WPA Recreational and Facilities project sites across the nation.

Examples of WPA projects in Petrifying Springs Park included:

  • Construction of the golf course
  • Planting of trees and shrubs
  • Erection of pavilions, maintenance buildings, and entomology laboratory
  • Creation of the baseball diamond, backstop, bleachers, locker rooms, and lighting
  • Paving parkways
  • Underground utilities of storm sewers, wells, and catch basins
  • Dredging lagoon
  • Four miles of trails
  • Footbridges
  • Horseshoe and shuffleboard courts

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