July 7, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Yesterday we began a story about John Rogers and his management style at the early public swimming pool in Junction City.
John’s word was law at the pool as Lois York remembered. In the early 30’s she came back to Junction City from a vacation in Minnesota with a stylish new red one piece bathing suit. When she wore it to the city pool for the first time, John gave his disapproval and told her one piece suits were not allowed in the pool. Lois climbed right out of the pool and spread a beach towel to sunbathe – after all there was no rule that one piece suits could not be worn around the pool if you didn’t go in the water.
John’s other rules during in 1913 were that swimmers must shower with soap before swimming; boys and men’s suits must be a one piece suit. Girl’s and women’s suits must have a blouse, bloomers, skirt and hose. During swim times males and girls had their own swim time separate from each other. Black females and black males had their own swim time. Occasionally boys and girls could swim together. In 1938 a second pool was built in the same place as the first one, which was more modern. The new rules were: no dunking, running acrobatic rough housing, water fights, pushing or diving.
In 1988, a third pool was built in the same place and became an Olympic size pool. These pools were located next to the Fifth Street Park and is currently open to everyone.
That’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.