Old Swimming Pool

Many towns and villages in Alberta strive to have an outdoor swimming pool in their midst. You could safely say the Elk Point district was a way ahead of the times as it had an outdoor swimming pool over 60 years ago. This pool was built about 1930 and was situated along Dog Rump Creek, about a mile west of our bridge.

It was built by William Trefiak, a school teacher, on the quarter section of land he was living on. Prior to this, Mr. Trefaik taught both the King George and Willow Range schools, located south of the river. Mr. Trefiak was a very inventive type of person, who thought an outdoor swimming pool  would bring him a reasonably good income during the summer months. It was a bold undertaking, however he was confident it would eventually pay off.

The dimensions of this cement constructed pool were approximately twenty feet by about forty feet. It had a sloped floor which enabled people of all ages to use this pool. He built a large water wheel and had it anchored in the fast flowing creek which ran close to where his pool was located. The water wheel scooped up buckets of water from the creek and lifted them above the banks of the creek and into a trough leading to this pool. On the lower end he had a drainage system installed so he could drain the water from the pool and prevent frost damage during the winter months.  The building of this pool proved to be a costly venture, however, by doing most of the work himself he was able to keep his costs down somewhat.

Near the swimming pool he constructed showers, one for the men and one for the women. The water for these showers was heated by wood and coal in a specially constructed room. The people had the choice of either a swim or a shower, whichever they wished. The site of this swimming pool had a parklike setting and it proved to be an ideal spot for a wiener roast or a barbecue during the warm evenings..

As youngsters we often rode our bicycles to this swimming pool. It was about a three mile ride from Elk Point however we though nothing of it. After all we were going to enjoy something no other surrounding town could boast about - an outdoor swimming pool.

Mr Trefiak charged an admission for using both the pool and showers, if I recall correctly it was very reasonable, 25 cents, and it permitted you to use the pool all day. When the weather was extremely hot, the place was always busy, especially on weekends. This swimming pool and showers proved to be very popular and drew many swimmers from our village as well as many visitors from the surrounding districts. Outdoor swimming pools were considered a luxury in those days and we had good reason to be proud and thankful that we had one located nearby.

This pool thrived for about two years and then the great depression of the early 1930s hit. Every business suffered and this pool proved to be no exception. We no longer had a quarter to spend on a swim or a shower and Mr. Treflak reluctantly had to close the pool down. Although it was very popular and had the possibilities of being a money maker, it eventually proved to be a failure instead. Mr. Treflak lost heavily as he had a lot invested in it - not counting all the work he had ptxt . into it, _This" pool never reopened and for over fifty years it lay exposed to the weather. The walls eventually cracked and some of the.walls tumbled to the ground. I saw the remains of this pool many times while poking around the creek on my way to a few fishing trips to the river.

This pool remained exposed until Gordon McCuaig 4ought the land it was situated on. The remains of this pool apparently proved to be a hazard to his horses and cattle feeding nearby and about five years ago he had it bulldozed and leveled to the ground. Today you would never know a swimming pool ever existed there. All that remains are the many fond memories of all the enjoyble times we had there when it was in operation over sixty years ago.