Thursday, February 15

This is Rock Lake, near my hometown in WV. Click to enlarge.

In my area, we had a huge (400 by 200 feet) swimming pool complex that had been built into the side of an old rock quarry. Virtually everyone went there on weekends, as it was one of the few public pools around in those days. They had the big main pool, baby pools, a games area and a dance floor, and they always played the current popular songs for our "dancing pleasure". And dance we did; as the sun burned brightly and tanning or swimming became boring, we piled onto the dance floor like sardines in a can. It was heaven. If your current boyfriend was not in attendance that weekend, there were always scores of others waiting in the wings. And don't get me started about life guards; they of the bronzed bodies and rippling biceps. It was every 15 year old's dream, even if the guards were far too old for us.

These photos must have been taken on a weekday, or early in the morning, because on most weekend days, you could hardly move for the numbers of people there!

I lifted this from a previous post on summer memories, written back when I couldn't post pics. I thought you'd enjoy seeing my "old swimming hole". If I keep posting photos of warmer days, maybe they'll get here soon......LOL
Edit: The pool closed in the 60's, a victim of integration, according to the story I read.
And another one: Jennifer asked if I was sure it closed in the 60's. I am not; that is the info in an email I got, and it could be wrong. I left that area in 1963 and never attempted to go to Rock Lake again after that, so I don't know.
Yes, there was a charge to get in, but I don't know how much it was. Probably something like 50 cents. It was not a public pool (in the sense that it was not city-run). It was privately owned.


Carolyn said...

How refreshing! I don't think I know where that is. Is it still in existence?

P.S. Thanks for your ideas! I love the copper or terra cotta idea. And you know you could come visit anytime you're coming my way. Would love to have you! :)

bluemountainmama said...

that looks great! is it still there?

utenzi said...

Summer and warm weather feel a long ways away, Judy. I hope you're recovering from the trauma of Valentine's Day at the florist shop.

mar said...

It looks like it was a fun place. Too bad good things are not always preserved.

Cravey said...


Please do throw down whatever you got to bring on the warm weather.
There's a far better chance you'll come for cocktails on my porch if it's NOT 20 DEGREES!

Glad you made it through the busy holiday !

trinamick said...

What I wouldn't give for sunshine and a swimming pool right now...

Carmi said...

What a sad loss for the community, because the ex-lifeguard in me first looked at those pictures and drooled at the prospect of spending time at such a gorgeous facility.


Shephard said...

That's very unique... was there a charge to get in? They must have maintained it somehow.. parks department or privately owned?
Sounds like a fun thing to have in the community.


Weary Hag said...

What a neat swimming pool idea ... phew. Don't we wish it was that nice out now?

This is a great new blog, Judy! I've been peeking and poking around a bit. I will say I miss your first one, but this will be a way cool replacement. Good job!

Also thanks for thinking of me and stopping by for a visit!

Jamie Dawn said...

What a neato, groovy, keen pool!

Too bad it's closed now.
We had a swimming hole nearby when I was little, and I do mean a "hole." It wasn't nearly as nice as your public swmming pool.

I won't have a new post up until the weekend. I've been too busy the past few days, and I'm using whatever spare time I have to visit blog buddies.
Stop by JD's this weekend!! That's me, BTW. :)

Have a nice weekend, Kenju.

Jennifer said...

Rock Lake is now paved over and serves as a putt putt, race car, video game amusement center. Or did, at least, very recently.

Are you sure it closed in the 60s? I ask because I went there, many times, as a kid and I was born in 1963.

Anna said...

Fun, we had one like that in Louisville called Lakeside. I miss that pool. I enjoyed seeing these pics Judy. Hope you are getting rest still...I was thinking of you also when I took the photos of the gerber daisies that I posted. I am glad that you liked them!

Brenda said...

Can you imagine having something like for your OWN PERSONAL USE?

I might have to claim I'm Anna Nicole's baby daddy? ;-)

Biff Spiffy said...

Great pics!

Michigan is fairly flat, no interesting rock formations like that. What a great setting!

But, then we're 25 minutes from beautiful Lake Michigan, with some of the softest sand in the world. Not a pool, but still good swimming for a couple weeks per year. You know, when we can chip a hole in the ice that won't close up before we get out.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It wouldn't be surprising if it did close back then because of imtegration...Many people forget or never knew the horrors of segragation and the fight to end it....!
Interesting place to build a pool, isn't it? But my Lordy...if it was pretty empty when these pictures were taken I shudder to think what it must have been like on the weekends!

Hale McKay said...

I like the new site and look. I have to go update my blogroll.

If I remember correctly, Rock Lake was in Kanawha City? before it merged with Charleston? Or was it South Charleston? The memory isn't so good these days of those times.

Anyway, I remember the integration problems that had it shut down for a while. I left W.V. in 1967.

I remember that the courts ordered the park to open it to everyone , regardless of race. The story I heard was the owners put up a sign in large letters that read something like: This pool is now half white and half black. The whites can use the top half and the blacks get the bottom half.

I can remember it being closed and locked by the authorities who saw no humor in the sign. That was before MLK marched on Washington, DC.

I don't know if it ever reopened, but my brother told me it was now a miniature golf course.

The last few times we were there, we always stopped at Shoney's for a burger and that fantastic Strawberry pie with whipped cream.

Thanks for the memories, Kenju, even the fuzzy ones.

A belated Happy Valentine's Day to you also.

JMH said...

That is so cool. Let me say that again, that is so cool. I wish we had anything but flat suburban sprawl where I grew up in the Chicago suburbs.

My pool was next a road and an algae filled pond. I suppose I should be thankful that my pool was not itself the algae filled pond. Michele sent me.

Mr. Althouse said...

That is so cool! I know of some rock quarries up ion the hills around here, and some of them have water in them, but I don't know if I'd swim in them! I like the idea of converting them though.

Michele sent me your way tonight and I'm glad she did!


Cris said...

So cool! I wonder how it looks like now... that's been closed for so long .

Bob-kat said...

That looks like it was such a cool place to go adn swim. The lifeguards sounded yummy! No wonder you liked going there!

Hope you have recovered from the exertions of Valentines Day now :-)

Michele sent me this time but I would have shown up at some point!

srp said...

Too bad it closed, it really does look like a lot of fun.

srp said...

Too bad it closed, it really does look like a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I miss public pools like that one. What a fantastic place!

Here from Michele's! (This visit, anyway!!!)

Ginnie said...

Interesting place. I didn't realize that you are from West Virginia. I love that State.

Blitz Krieg said...

That place looks amazing. My hometown is known as "The Sandstone Center of the World". There were many, many quarries there that we swam in during the summer. No one ever thought to do anything like that until just recently. Some British conglomerate bought up the largest quarries and land around them and are spending billions building an enclosed community.

Raggedy said...

What a fabulous place!