Sunday, April 10, 2011

Long Before Ray Edwards: The CF Swimming Pool

A couple of years ago when we were planning our 50th CFHS class reunion, someone sent me these photos of our old swimming pool.  Some of these photos would have been taken when I was about 9 or 10 years old.  Long before Ray Edwards.  It was huge – probably the size of 6 Ray Edwards pools!  The location of the pool was where the piles and piles and piles of coal are piled down behind the CF Utilities building across 12th Street from the Utilities offices.

The pool was kept full with the warm run-off water from the utilities.  It had cement edges, but the bottom was sand.  There were even beaches on the side.  There was a big area for the little kids and a great slide in the middle and two diving ramps – one specifically for the more daredevil among us.

There was a very select area at the pool for high schoolers and worked your way to that area as you got older.  The high school area had a great area for sunbathing and also was the location for the snack shack!

The younger kids could walk over there, but they weren’t allowed to linger and got back to the area “for their age” pretty quickly.

Creepy crawly things thrived in the water:  turtles, snakes, and occasionally fish.  The river was just behind the pool and was probably connected somehow.  

Contributed by Donna McVey Gray, CFHS Class of 1959


  1. I took my first swimming lessons here. And I remember how much fun it was to rent a big inner tube to float around in. I think it was about 5 cents an hour.
    Julie Nielsen Wolf, CFHS Class of 1970

  2. Suzanne Stenson O'BrienApril 10, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    So so cool! When did it close?

  3. I used to go fishing in the old swimming pool in the mid 1960, we caught a lot of bluegills and sunfish.

  4. I remember taking swim lessons there. Never wanted to have your eyes open under water!!! My mom swam there in the '40's also ..nasty nasty water!! But it was very fun (and a long walk) to go to the concession stand with our nickel.

  5. I grew up in the 40's and this pool. It was always such a treat to walk all the way (2 miles, I think) on a hot day knowing we would soon have the water to entertain us. I don't remember swimming on the "high school side" so much. At that time we were rebellious and going to the river to swim. That was strictly forbidden! Judie Crosby Johnson

  6. This was one of our favorite places to go during the summer. There were also many swim competions held here during my years growing up in CF. These pictures bring back many fond memories. It was a great place to swim after closing hours too, the police could never catch us there, with so many places to hide.

    Herb Pitzman - Class 62, Retired Police Chief

  7. Herb, I hope that you will become our Friend at our Facebook page where as a Friend, you can enjoy looking through scores of albums including one with even more photos of the municipal pool. Only Friends have access to the majority of the photos!

  8. I remember walking to the pool from where we lived on Washington St. The shortest way was through the piles of coal, or a fine, black dust. If I concentrate, I can recall the smell. The stuff was hot too. Nevertheless, the trek was worth it. There will never be another pool like that one.
    Karen Boege Kuehl

  9. My brother and I grew up at the pool,we would
    go early in the morning and pick up papers and
    junk on the beach area and then we could swim
    I remember in about 1950 there was a polio scare,they closed the pool thinking that was
    the cause,but them reopened about a week later.
    I have a lot of fond memorys,of the old swimming hole.