A new chapter was added recently to the history of Marmet’s storied Ben Morris Field.
It is the new entrance sign and archway at the field, which is located across from the George S. Buckley Recreation Center in downtown Marmet.
The sign was installed a few weeks ago around Memorial Day, a gift bestowed to the town from Kevin and Mary Meadows.
The new structure had been in the works, intermittently, for years, according to former Marmet Mayor Jay Snodgrass.
“We had worked on it when I was mayor,” Snodgrass said, “to make that ball field a safer place to enter. Before, the old gate terminated, literally, on the sidewalk. From my years of playing ball there when I was younger, several of my classmates had been hit by cars there.
“We took the fence down for the new entrance way. We started that with a design on a napkin. Kevin and his wife, Mary, decided to take the project on themselves. It was one of those things we would work on when we had a free moment or two. It was a long process of finishing it up and making it come to life.”
Snodgrass said the new entryway is part of an ongoing set of renovations and upkeep to the field.
“During my term as mayor, the restrooms were being broken into and vandalized,” he said. “The citizens made a security gate that made that stop happening. The bathrooms have been updated, and we had a brand-new scoreboard donated right before COVID-19 hit.
“Ben Morris was a mayor in the 1930s. That property was used, from my understanding, when they built the locks and dam in Marmet,” Snodgrass said. “The railroad would bring equipment to build there. After that, they either leased or donated the property to the town, and they named it after Ben Morris. Of course, the Morris family were the founders of the town.”
Marmet is celebrating its centennial year of incorporation during 2021, and Snodgrass said the new entrance is a fitting memento of the anniversary and a safeguard for years to come. “It was kind of a present to Marmet. It looks attractive and will make it safer in future years,” he said.