A Dip in the “Cool Pool”

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Chapel Hill it’s hot. With a forecast high of 97 degrees and a heat index of around 105 degrees, I was trying to think of something “cool” to do this afternoon. If I were in Tarboro in the 1930s, I definitely know what I would do; I’d take a dip in the “Cool Pool.”

According to an entry written by Jaqueline Drane Nash in the recently published Encyclopedia of North Carolina, the Cool Pool came about after the Tarboro Town Council asked a Pennsylvania firm to install a refrigerating unit for the town pool. For a mere $2592, the residents of Tarboro enjoyed what “is believed to have been the first and perhaps only refrigerated outdoor pool in the country.” Now that is what I call North Carolina ingenuity (with a little help from Pennsylvania).

0 thoughts on “A Dip in the “Cool Pool””

  1. $2592!! That sounds like a lot of money back then?? I’m wondering how well it worked, did you find any information on that? I’ve never heard of a cool pool before kinda takes everything we’re used to and throws it in the toilet. I think we could use a cool pool in Arizona.

  2. Yes, it worked. The pool was open from 1936 to 1979, and hundreds of kids cooled off each summer in the pool and it was even used for state and regional swim meets in the 1940s. It is my understanding that one of the reasons the pool was closed was that the components for the refrigerated unit were no longer working and no longer made.

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