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April 19, 2019

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Believe it or not - an early Bluffton swimming pool

Just when you think you know everything there is to know about Bluffton, a photograph like this shows up.

Ask your grandparents to explain this.  If they can’t help, keep reading.

It’s a photograph of the "floating" pool that served swimmers in Bluffton as early as the mid-to-late 1920s (based upon the style of swim suit in the photo) to the early 1950s.

It was constructed on the east bank of the Buckeye and then was moved to the quarry where it floated to allow swimming.

If you examine this photo carefully you'll see dozens of large barrels. Those kept the pool afloat.

Charles Hilty says he can recall being in the shallower side of the pool (the one on our left as we look at it), perhaps as early as 1938-39, and adds that he mother spoke to him about being panicky, even in the shallow side of this floating pool, before Hilty was born in 1934.

This story gets better. What happened to the pool?

In the mid-1950s that the pool was sunk and can see from the north bank when the water is very clear.

John Sommers recalls in the mid-1970s that he and Rob Strahm would scuba dive, and pick the many lures off the sunken pool. He said that you could see it from the shore when water was clear near the large shelter house. It was often a place to see very large carp sitting in the bottom of it.

Doug Hahn confirmed that you can still see the pool on a bright shining day if the water is clear, at the north end of the Buckeye.