Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sum, Sum, Summer Time!

From the Don Jackson Collection at the Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin Library

"Brookhaven Swimming Pool -- A group of young people are gathered at the public swimming pool ... This swimming pool was located behind the public high school." -- Library caption.

Come on in, the water's fine!  Based on the style of dress, my best guess is this picture of the city pool was taken in the mid to late 1950s.  

I like this shot because it is rare to see a straight-on view of the cabanas and the area where my mother would fish me out of the pool, cover me with a towel, and on the way out via those center doors, buy me a frozen treat.  

On the other side of that building, I and my friends, with blue lips and goose flesh from spending hours in the pool, ended many a summer day dripping wet and fully chlorinated, giving ourselves brain freeze with banana popsicles or frozen Snicker bars.  

This Olympic-sized pool is where countless children learned how to swim in the shallow end and others honed their skills as divers on the other.  It is also the scene of the Lion's Club Water Carnival, which has been featured many times on this blog.  

Major William Sherman Rutter supervised the construction of the high school in 1937-38 (replacing the red brick structure that was destroyed by fire) and the city pool in 1939-40, along with the stadium, football field and the country club, according to his granddaughter Rachel Rutter Manning.  

For any number of reasons, the City Pool was closed in the 1970s, and a BHS academic building now stands on this location.


  1. Wonderful memories in your comments, Molly...I am tasting those Very Cold and delicious banana popsicles...I have never had a better one. I even remember those gutters on the sides of the pool and how hard it was to boost up from them!

  2. It may have closed in the 70's but it definitely reopened before it was torn down over a decade (early or mid 90's ???). I was born in '79 and, like many others, spent many summer days at the pool including a couple weeks one summer of swimming lessons! I was sad to see it go and remember being amazed at how thick the concrete was when they'd broken it into chunks! By the time I got to BHS, the math building stood where the pool had once been. :)