Archive for the ‘Webber Pool’ Tag

Minneapolis Park Memory: Ode to Webber Pool

I am an ex-competitive swimmer. I bought my house in 1996, a half block up the hill from Webber Park on Colfax because it was close to the pool. At that time I was working second shift, so I was able to swim laps at their morning time slot. For two and a half months in a glorious Minnesota summer I was able to swim my laps outside! It wasn’t summer until the pool opened and I was always sad to see it close. I bought a season pass each summer, often being the first one to do so. I’ve made some great friends through swimming at Webber Pool. Even made acquaintances there, people I only saw at the pool. I taught my son how to swim there.

This was my view as I started my laps each morning. I could sit there at the edge of the pool just thinking about whatever, usually not the swim I was about to do. Water is a thought provoking substance. Chris Norman

Most of the time, the park was not safe to be in, especially in the evening. I was once in the middle of a shooting with my son in a stroller, returning home from the baby pool near the community center. But the big pool was always safe.

After the city made Rosacker and North Commons into water parks, Webber Pool was the only ‘real’ pool left in the city. Water parks are fun, but they don’t allow for swimming. Webber had three diving boards, a shape that allowed for lots of wide open fun. Twenty-five meters for laps. It could get pretty wild and crazy on hot afternoons. Weekend mornings were perfect peaceful times to relax, enjoy the sun and water.

Outdoor pool water sparkles. I can dive under, lay on the bottom, look up at the sky and see prisms. It’s a magic world.

I moved after eight summers, to raise my son in a safer area, but we came back every summer on an almost daily basis to swim. Each summer we were thankful it was opening again. I know it was old and I know how expensive it is to repair, and I know the city didn’t make money on it. But some things are priceless and this pool was a gem.

I fail to see how the city couldn’t update the park and keep the pool intact.

Chris Norman

Thanks for the memory, Chris
David C. Smith

Minneapolis Park Memory: North to South

Minneapolis truly is a “City of Parks” for everyone — north, south, east , and west. As a ten-year-old tomboy in north Minneapolis, the neighbor kids and I would hike three miles to Glenwood Park, where we hunted for golf balls at the golf course, climbed the ski jump, and went wading in the creek until the golf workers would yell at us, “Hey, you little brats, get the heck out of that ‘crick’ NOW!” We would find a shady spot and dry off, giggling while eating our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or we would hike along Victory Memorial Drive to the Camden Pool, where every kid in north Minneapolis came to swim or get a bath. It was jam-packed with grubby young bodies all day long! When I was twelve, we moved to south Minneapolis, the Nokomis Lake and Lake Hiawatha area, another neat area for having fun in the parks.

After marriage and four kids, it was my kids who kept up the “fun in the parks” tradition, especially at Minnehaha Park. They investigated every nook and cranny, often ending up at the Falls, where they would crawl down the steep banks to the bottom of the Falls and work their way behind the water falls so nobody could see them and then make scary sounds and howls when little kids came to look at the water falling. Down the path from the Falls to the river was a large tree on a high bank. My son found a sturdy branch to which he tied a long, 2″-wide rope. Then he crawled to the top of the bank, holding the rope firmly an gave a bloodcurdling “Tarzan” yell, swinging form the top of the bank to a small island in the river where he landed. All the kids had a good time with the “Tarzan tree.” There weren’t so many park police or restrictions to keep kids from getting into mischief in the 30s to 60s, but I don’t recall any accidents occurring.

Thanks to Theodore Wirth and the Minneapolis Park Board for their foresight and wonderful planning of our great park system. There is so much for our enjoyment, and it’s free.

Judy Knutson

Webber Pool, year unknown. From the time it was built in 1910 until 1927, water was diverted form Shingle Creek to fill the pool. Beginning in 1927 the pool used filtered and chlorinated city water. In the early years, boys and girls used the pool at different times. One reason for the high wall around the pool was to prevent boys and girls from watching each other swim. In the 1930s, more than 1,500 children under the age of 14 used the pool every summer day. (City of Parks, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)