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?





  1. Regarding the Rosefield Pool in Richeyville, our family purchased the poperty in the early 80's. My father, now 85, grew up swimming and
    enjoying all that the area had to offer. Should you wish to contact us
    to see the pool remains you may contact me:

  2. I grew up in Vestaburg, moved to Ohio in 1962 and came back to PA to spend the summers with my cousin and all my old friends for years afterwards. We'd swim at Belvue all the time, mid thru late 60's. We'd get dropped off when it opened and picked up before it closed. Spent ALL day. Had so much fun. Great memories. Thank you SO much. Keep doing what you're doing. DS

  3. Nikki Sarchet (Ruscitto)April 20, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Thank you for all of your wonderful pictures, videos, and blogs! I spent many wonderful summers at Belvue Pool, so many wonderful dropping us off, swimming, hanging with friends, playing in the arcade, walking through the field (along the country club's golf course) to get candy from the little store on Rt. 40...this would have been around 1987-1989. I believe that the Orlandi family owned it then. I will check to see if I have any pictures to share!

    Keep up the great work!!

  4. The old Rosefield pool remains were down over the hill behind Hair 40. I think I metal detected their when I was a kid.

  5. Thanks for this post--which I just found after someone pointed to a different post and I went digging in your archives. I grew up in Beallsville just down the street, and BelVue was absolutely hopping in the mid-'80s. I took swimming lessons there as a little kid, and during middle school summers around '86-'88 people lined up in the arcades, and some days it felt like people were practically shoulder-to-shoulder in the pool. Then it seemed to dry up almost immediately, and by the time I graduated high school in '92 it was dying. It's always been a great mystery to me how it went south so quickly.

  6. My husband grew up in Beallsville. The pool was just a short walk from his house and he life guarded there in the early 60's. He moved in the mid 70's and when we came back to the area in the early 90's we lived in Beallsville in the house next to the one he grew up in. We walked back to the pool and it was still a pool but the concrete was cracked in several places. This would have been in 1994 I think. So all that fill has been put there in the last 20 years. Another piece of history gone.

  7. Used to go there from Brownsville to swim. It was somewhat of a T shaped pool with the deep end off to one side of the pool. They were short a lifeguard and asked me if I would fill in. I had been a scout camp swimming instructor and also had the life saving merit badge and instructor, so I had no problem with doing that. From what I saw in the video with the pipes coming out of the concrete, that was the deep area.

  8. Made many happy memories at this pool. All during high school and college. From opening to closing it was our summer home.

  9. Was a lifeguard there in the 70's.
    Taught swimming there too.
    Place was closed due to mine subsidence.
    Coal giveth and it taketh away.
    My first thoughts of marriage were of a girl I met there while guarding.