New Clinton Pool Opens - 1930

From: The Clinton Daily Herald; Saturday, May 31, 1930, P. 11
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.

Program Tomorrow To Include Exhibition by Boyd Liddle.

Clinton’s new municipal swimming pool, one of the finest in the country, was thrown open to the public today and will be dedicated tomorrow with appropriate ceremonies and an exhibition of swimming and diving by Boyd Liddle, State University of Iowa star, and local swimmers including W. Armstrong McCullough, former Hawkeye diving ace.

A band concert will be one of the features early tomorrow afternoon with the tank program commencing at four o’clock. Liddle, Midwestern A. A. U. free style swimming champion at all distances from 50 yards to 440 yards and Midwestern A. A. U. high board diving champion, will give exhibition of low and high board diving and exhibition back stroke and free style swims. Four local mermaids, Ivalyn Kennedy, Martha Jilly, Edith Swift and Betty Thompson, will engage in a 25-yard free style dash as one of the features of the program.

To Do Fire Dive.

McCullough’s share of the opening program will be staged at 8:30 p. m. when he will do his famous “fire dive” from the 15-foot level of the diving tower. In this dive, a circle of blazing gasoline is touched off at the foot of the diving tower and a torch on the back of the diver is also touched off. With fire crackling from his back, McCullough will then dive into the circle of flames in the same fashion that made his specialty a feature at Iowa and other Midwestern tanks.

Interest in the opening of the new swimming pool is widespread and a big crowd is expected to witness the dedicatory program tomorrow afternoon and evening.


The Clinton Herald; Saturday, May 31, 1930, P. 16

Ornamental Bath House, a Study in Colorful Beauty, Admired by Throngs – Every Detail Taken Care of Before Doors Were Thrown Open – Attendants in White and Blue Uniforms Direct Public.

Hundreds of bathers from Clinton and from cities, towns and communities miles away enjoyed themselves in the finest outdoor swimming pool in this part of the country today as the new $90,000 pool in River Front park was opened for the first time. Not a single item arrived too late, not one swish of a paint brush had to go unfinished for the opening. Everything was in readiness, due to plans that were figured out weeks ago by Leo P. Hannaher, park superintendent, and executed with the assistance of Rhene Law, manager of the pool, and the men working under him.

Water, pure as you would draw form the spigot in your home and blue as a June sky, rippled in the gentle breeze this morning, warming up in the bright sun. Bathers this afternoon found the water a bit cool at first, but wonderfully refreshing and invigorating.

Water Constantly Filtered.

The mammoth filtration plant was started shortly after the first bathers stepped off the concrete promenade and will be kept going constantly. Each night the pool will be flushed, washing all floating particles of grass, wood and similar substances into the scum gutter, from whence it finds its way into the city sewer.

Out front on the concrete court of the ornate bath house a giant of a man stood in a blue and white uniform this afternoon, answering questions of visitors and directing the public generally. Inside were more attendants in white and blue uniforms.

The bath house was a study in refreshing beauty. Triangular awnings of green and orange were hung in each back corner of the lobby yesterday, adding another touch of gay color to an already colorful motif. Directly in front of the entrance, over the ticket seller’s window, are a number of potted flowers. Suspended from the ceiling near entrances to the men’s and women’s locker rooms, are two hanging baskets filled with drooping ferns and other plants.

First – Aid Room Maintained.

On the left as you enter the lobby, up a short flight of stairs, is a women’s rest room finished in green wicker furniture against a tan grass rub. A public telephone is available in this room. A counterpart of this room, only on the opposite side of the lobby, is fitted up as an office for Rhene Law, manager. These two rooms nestle under the red tile roofed towers of the bath house.

In the rear of the building a first – aid room is maintained, with all conveniences at hand to enable attendants or a physician to quickly administer treatment to anyone who becomes suddenly ill or is hurt.

But while bathers paused momentarily to admire the artistic and modern bath house, they hurried on into the locker rooms, undressed and took a shower, as required by rules of the park board, got into a swimming suit and made for the new pool. A large crowd of spectators seated in the bleachers on the west side of the pool enclosure witnessed a gay and colorful scene as men, women, girls and children swam, dove and splashed in the blue water or merely sat on the sand beach under one of the big striped umbrellas.

Up on top of the bath house under a gay awning of many stripes Lyons high school band gave a concert. Tomorrow the pool will again be the scene of festivities, with a program of water sports scheduled for the evening. The Citizens band will furnish music tomorrow.

The Clinton Herald; Monday, June 2, 1930, P. 3

In spite of the cool weather, 500 bathers swam in the new pool in River Front park over the week-end, opened Saturday afternoon for the first time. The large crowd of spectators that filled the bleachers on the west side and that stood in line around the fence was taken as an indication of much bigger business when the weather becomes warmer. The opening Saturday afternoon and evening and yesterday drew people not only from Clinton, but from other cities in this territory.

Attendants had been drilled in handling the public and performed their tasks so well that not a hitch of any consequence occurred on either day. Appreciation was expressed by visitors of the many modern conveniences in the bath house and of the cleanliness and beauty of the pool.

The big attraction last night was a fire dive by W. A. McCullough. Long before Mr. McCullough appeared, the bleachers were full, and spectators were lined up all around the iron fence enclosing the pool. With the flood lights that play on the pool turned off and a piece of cotton saturated in gasoline fastened to his back, Mr. McCullough plunged from the 15-foot high diving board into a patch of flame on the water.

In the future visitors will be allowed to inspect the pool and bath house between 9 and 11 o’clock Sunday mornings. At all other times no one except bathers will be permitted to get beyone the lobby of the bsath house, nor will anyone not clad in a bathing suit be allowed within the pool enclosure. Two attendants will be on duty during visiting hours to show the public around. Decision to allow visitors to inspect the pool on Sunday mornings was reached by Leo P. Hannaher, park superintendent, and Rhene Law, pool manager, after a conference this morning.

Hours during which the pool will be open, for the present at least, are 11 a. m. to 9 p. m. on week days, and 1 p. m. to 9 p. m. Sundays.

The Clinton Herald; Tuesday, June 3, 1930, P. 3

Clinton’s new swimming pool yesterday drew approximately as many bathers as used the pool on each of the two opening days. The park board is optimistic over the large number of patrons thus far and is looking for an increase of around 100 per cent when the weather becomes warmer. So far, 6 p. m. seems to be about the busiest hour.
The roof garden on the bath house, closed Saturday and Sunday because it was used by bands playing for the formal opening, was thrown open to the public last night. Here the public may sit on chairs and watch the swimmers below. A large awning offers protection from the sun.

A cement walk, four feet wide, running from the entrance of the bath house to the bleachers on the west side of the pool, was opened this morning. Park workmen constructed the walk in a day. It will provide a means for persons who have been sitting in the bleachers to reach the bath house without going farther around by way of the road. Also, it will tend to keep pedestrians off the grass.