In honor of our first, ahem, balmy day of the year, I figured I'd post this photo of Westbrook's first public swimming pool. Also known as the Presumpscot River, the swimming area was sectioned off from the rest of the river with mesh wire and featured a platform built around it. Though it was replaced in 1949 by the current outdoor pool because of public health concerns, the old swimming area did inspire this plainspoken, yet semi-poetic observation by a Westbrook resident: "The swimming tank was open to the sky. The Presumpscot River flowed through wooden slats making up the tank to form a swimming area."
The photo above carries the caption, "Jumpers at the outdoor swimming tank, 1919."
Source: A Presence in the Community: The Warren Family Legacy. Anastasia S. Weigle (Warren Memorial Foundation and Cornelia Warren Community Association).
- John C.L. Morgan