Montpelier Recreation Field under Construction in 1940Source: Vermont State Archives; Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
The primary baseball field at Montpelier Recreation Field was built in 1939. Frequently mis-attributed to the Work Projects Administration (WPA), the facility was part of a larger park project undertaken with Public Works Administration (PWA) funds.
The stadium was home to the New England Collegiate Baseball League, and since 2003 it has been the home field of the Mountaineers. The field has a 1,200-seat capacity grandstand. While the baseball facility itself has been referred to as “Recreation Field,” this was just one part of the greater park project—which included a pool, bath house, and football field—that the City of Montpelier originally referred to as Recreation Field.
Description, from the city annual report for the year ending Jan. 31, 1939:
In the opposite end from the Pool will be the Baseball Field surrounded by a 1/2 mile Cinder Track. The Baseball Field will be regulation size and when completed will be one of the nicest and best in northern New England. The covered grandstand will be of steel and wood, seating about 1,250 and the Bleachers on first and third base seat 1,000 each making a total of about 3300. The Bleachers will be of wood and steel construction, portable so that during the Football season they may be moved to the Football Field for use making a seating capacity there of 2,000.
A Montpelier roadside historic marker notes:
“Built in 1940 by the Federal Works [sic] Projects Administration and home to the Northern League for the Montpelier Senators and the Twin City Trojans from 1941-1952. Many future Major League baseball players played on this historic field. The biggest star, player Robin Roberts called this his home field for two seasons. In 1946 he threw a no-hitter and in 1947 the Trojans won the pennant as he compiled an 18-3 record. Robin went on to win 286 Major League games playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, and the Chicago Cubs. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.”
Annual Report of the City of Montpelier, for the Year Ending January 31, 1939 (pg. 42).
Annual Report of the City of Montpelier, 1940 (pg. 7).
Vermont State Archives
Vermont Mountaineers: (http://thevermontmountaineers.pointstreaksites.com/view/thevermontmountaineers/mountaineers-history-1), accessed January 12, 2018.
Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montpelier_Recreation_Field), accessed January 12, 2018.
Project originally submitted by The Living New Deal on July 27, 2012.
Additional contributions by Devin A. Colman, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, January 12, 2018; Evan Kalish, February 22, 2018.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE