The Mineral Point Pool opens this Friday. Here’s a little history about our wonderful community pool by Susan Webb.
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.
Original reports and drawings from 1937.
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
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To what extent can the pool be considered a WPA project? Did the WPA workers build the entire pool and bathhouse, or did they only tear down the cottages to provide the stone? Has the pool been totally rebuilt since the original construction, or is it pretty much intact?