Happy Birthday, Beach

Posted June 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm

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POOL FILLS FOR 100TH TIME – Mark Stacy with the City of El Dorado Spring Building and Grounds Department watches the deep end of the Virginia Ryan Strain Swimming Pool fill up in preparation for the June 2 opening.

The Beach, as it was once called, was opened on July 8, 1914, by Miss Lucile Ketchum, Miss Lillian Parks and Miss Majors, three St. Louis school teachers who had vacationed in El Dorado Springs in 1913. They liked the town and decided to move here.

Noting the lack of recreational facilities, they decided to build a modern, up-to-date swimming area west of the Park. City founder N.H. Cruse was so enthusiastic that he deeded the property to them for 20 years provided it was used for a swimming pool and recreation area.

Local contractor Frank Churchill built the pool 60 ft. wide and 100 ft long. It held 200,000 gallons of water. The shallow end was two feet deep and the deep end was 8 ft. The cost was $3,000.

At the Grand Opening the St. Louis Symphony furnished the music. Each yearly opening of the Beach was accompanied by musical entertainment, eating and dancing. In 1919 Misses Ketchum and Parks erected an open-air brick structure with a stage and movie screen just west of the Beach.

The Beach property has gone through a series of owners and improvements. The City of El Dorado Springs bought it in 1981 and it was enlarged in the early eighties. The current structure holds 320,000 gallons of water. The city budgets approximately $46,000 per year to maintain the pool.

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BEACH BLEACH – The pool is filled from a spout on the south end and is chlorinated as the water flows over chlorine tablets. The basket keeps the tablets from washing into the deep end.