This year, 2015, marks the 78th anniversary of the pool at Soldiers Memorial Park. As the third generation of Pointers prepares to dive into the pool – which opens Friday at 1 p.m. – High Street Beat takes a look back at swimming in Mineral Point.
It started back in the 1920s, when the town cleared eight acres and dammed three springs to fill a 3½-acre lake. The park also featured sandy beaches, a bathhouse, a diving tower and boating docks. Soldiers Memorial Park was officially dedicated in 1922.
About 10 years later, W.P.A. workers began dismantling stone cottages along Shake Rag Alley built by 19th-century Cornish immigrants to use for the pool retaining wall and bathhouse. (Robert Neal and Edgar Hellum famously saved a row of homes on Shake Rag Alley, now known as Pendarvis. For more about their story, visit Pendarvis. This Saturday is Visitor Appreciation Day.)
It took almost two years to build the nearly-Olympic-sized pool, which opened in July 1937 at a cost of about $35,000, which would be just over half a million bucks in today’s dollars. At the time it was the largest pool in the area outside of Baraboo.
The weather this Friday might not be the best, but you have the whole summer to enjoy our great pool. You can find the pool hours and seasonal rates here. The daily rate is $3.
– Contributed by Susan Webb