Battell Park is an 11-acre parcel that runs along the north bank of the Saint Joseph River. Previously known as Riverside Park, it was formally dedicated as a city park in 1881 and the name was changed to Battell Park (after the family that donated the land). The first improvements came later in 1881 when a wooden fence, rustic bridge, and tree planting project were added. In 1884 the 32-foot tall Soldier’s Memorial was erected. It was a 5-tier concrete base topped by an 8-foot tall white bronze figure of a Civil War soldier.
A variety of projects took place during the 1920s-1930s that contribute to the Park today. In 1927, a Neoclassical style bandshell was constructed at the west end of the park. This massive structure is covered with limestone and a copper roof. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was active in Mishawaka. They built the elaborate 5-tiered rock garden that leads to the river. There are multiple pools and cascades mixed with a variety of retaining walls and planters. A bridge crosses over the natural ravine where the rock garden is nestled. Upon the completion of the rock garden in 1936-37, the WPA began work on a circular concrete wading pool. More recent additions to the park include tennis courts, playground equipment, and a basketball court.