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Ritter Park, a 75-acre municipal park located on the south side of Huntington, is a century old. Most of the land, 55 acres, was originally purchased by the city in 1908 as the site for a proposed municipal incinerator. But nearby residents were so opposed to the incinerator plan that Mayor Rufus Switzer agreed to convert it to the city’s first major public park. The park got its name when businessman Charles Lloyd Ritter donated an additional 20 acres.

Ritter Park officially opened on September 11, 1913, but due to a change in administration at City Hall, development of park facilities did not begin until the late 1920s and early 1930s. During the Great Depression, federal support from the Works Progress Administration contributed to constructing the roads and stonework around the park. More recent additions include a playground, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and an open amphitheater. There is a historic log cabin maintained by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a one-mile walking track around the park perimeter is a popular place for residents to jog, walk their dogs, or simply stroll for exercise.

This Article was written by Tom D. Miller

Last Revised on February 11, 2013

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Sources

Casto, James E. Huntington: An Illustrated History. Huntington: Chapman Printing, 1997.

Wallace, George S. Huntington through 75 Years. Huntington: 1947.

Ridenour Associates. Master Development Plan for Ritter Park. Pittsburgh: 1992.

Cite This Article

Miller, Tom D. "Ritter Park." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 11 February 2013. Web. 09 December 2018.

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