Friday, April 3, 2009

No.17: The Swimming Pool

Until it was replaced by the pool at City Park on Joyner, this was THE pool in Tupelo. It was located on Madison, behind Church Street School and just south of Robins Field. Swimmers entered through a white clapboard bathhouse, guys to the left and girls to the right. Everyone was supposed to shower before leaving the bathhouse, but the water was cold and often avoided. What you couldn't avoid was a trench that was about five feet across that held six inches of dark, nasty, cold water. The only way through the back door that led to the pool was to wade through the trench. I suppose this was a way of making sure that those who only pretended to shower at least got their feet wet. I'm guessing their feet may have been cleaner before wading through the trench.

The pool itself, as pictured in the postcard above, was a large round one with a shallow section on the outer edge that gradually sloped to the deep part toward the center and beyond the chain. In the center of the pool was a diving platform with a low board and a high board. I've been told that the pool didn't have a filtration system, so it was drained once a week for cleaning. You wanted to know the schedule before you went for a dip.

In the late 60's the old pool was filled in and paved over to provide parking for the football stadium. All that's left is a postcard and a memory.

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten all about this pool. I actually took swimming lessons there as a child and I remember not wanting to put my face in the water. Maybe I knew something about the water even then. Thanks for the reminder, John