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JULY 2002Volume 4 Number 3

A Depression Legacy: The Colt Park Pool

Mark H. Jones, State Archivist

Photo of kids in Colt Park Swimming Pool on opening day.
Noodles in 2002!
Colt Park Swimming Pool, Opening Day, July 3, 2002

The construction of the pool in Colt Park was a project of the City of Hartford approved by the Emergency Relief Commission in 1934 using Federal Emergency Relief Funds. Perhaps you have heard that Depression - era projects were "make - work" jobs. Think again! For 68 years, even as the Hartford's industrial infrastructure has vanished, the pool has been giving cooling relief to children of diverse ethnic groups. What child cannot appear happy and exuberant on a hot summer's day in a cooling pool? The black and white photograph shows the pool on opening day in the summer of 1935. LeAnn Johnson took the color photograph on July 3rd, 2003, the last opening day for the grand old pool. The City plans to build a bigger one in time for next summer's opening. Will the old pool be forgotten? Recently a man who grew up in the area during the Depression saw the black and white photo. He told me, as memories rushed over him, that he could feel the cold water and smell the chlorine.

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