Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is summer here yet? A visit to the Belvue Pool, Beallsville,Pa

Summertime, and the livin' is easy... How can you think of summertime without thinking of a dip in your favorite swimmin' hole?   Back before backyard swimming pools were the norm, folks had to rely on other places to cool off. Some relied on spots like a local creek or even the river.  Nothing beats a great rope swing into the Mon!   Some, however, frequented the local public pool.

Public pools were far more common from the 1940s to the 1980s, when they seemed to start disappearing.  It seemed most towns had a pool.   Even the coal patch town of Nemacolin had a pool, which you can see the remains of here.  A few public pools still remain but most fell victim to rising upkeep costs. Many communities just can't justify a pool in their already tight budget. 

 Another common problem here in coal country was damage to the pools from ground subsidence. The concrete pools just couldn't survive the often unsteady ground and harsh PA winters. A Facebook message from our friend Ina Finn sent us on a mission to find the remains of the Rosefield Swimming Pool. This large pool was located in Richeyville,  Pa along historic Route 40. From what we understand, it was a popular spot. It closed many years ago, possibly in the late 1940s. Some remember seeing the pool as they drove Rt. 40 but few remember when it was open.It was even frequented by original Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller!   We don't believe there is much, if any, left of this pool...but we're not done researching just yet.    

On a cold, rainy afternoon (for some reason,we always seem to be out in the rain!) we located some swimming pool remains...on Route 40 no less! Is this it...the Rosefield Pool!? We were close. It seems we found the remains of what I believe was called the Belvue Pool in Beallsville, Pa.   Not at all far from Richeyville.  

The Belvue Pool also closed, however I believe it was open not long ago. The fence and some lighting remains as well as one unfilled corner of the pool.  I remember back in 84, when my girlfriend's Grandmother would drop her off there, so it hasn't been closed THAT long.   So, until we find more info on the Rosefield Pool, here is what we found of Belvue. I don't believe there will be any left before long. One or two more loads of dirt and it's gone!  

As always, please email or comment with any more info on either of these pools.  We would love some old pics, too! A few notes about the video...although I correctly refer to the pool as Belvue,  I confused the details about Johnny Weissmuller swimming there.  Most often, we shoot the videos and then learn the details.  We count on you guys and gals to set us straight. Also,Evan isn't really peeing in the beginning...its a 'pee in the pool' joke...Get it?