The Avon Pool was built in 1905.
By DENISE HERSCHEL
The Avon Historical Society is continuing its display series of the borough’s momentous and historical places with an upcoming display of the History of the Avon Pool. It will launch Fri., July 15 and will continue to be featured at the Avon Post Office until Fri., Sept. 30. According to AHS President, Norah Magrini, the display will include old pictures and old pool badges, swim team information and memorabilia, water ballet, aquathon, and fireman races pictures, programs, trophies, ribbons, plaques and newspaper articles as well as information about how the pool has changed since it was built in 1905.
Magrini, who is curating the museum herself, has had family and friends provide her with pictures and memorabilia. She said that she has been gathering the items for approximately four months.
“The historical society had some pictures; some items were from when my children participated in water ballet and swim team. Some things are from posts from the Avon History page on Facebook and Newspapers.com for some of the history,” she added.
“The display is sponsored by the AHS and is our third display this year. The History of the Avon Post Office and the History of the Avon Inn were shown earlier this year.”
According to Magrini, the history of the Avon Pool is a long and interesting one.
“The Avon Pool was built in 1905. Originally it had lockers or bath houses on the north, west and south sides. It also had a wooden slide off the roof of the bath houses on the west end which landed in the deep end. It was designed after the ‘big pool’ at Palm Beach, Florida according to an article published on January 19, 1905 in the Asbury Park Press,” she said. “It was originally a saltwater pool which was emptied each night and refilled in the morning from pipes connected to the ocean. It was converted into a chlorine pool many years ago.”
In June 1948, the pool was closed due to the polio scare and stayed dry for the next 13 years. In June 1961, the pool was reopened, renovated and converted to a fresh water pool. Badges were sold for $5.00 each with 435 people buying badges.
In 1975, the first annual water ballet show began at the pool. The show was presented as part of the 75th anniversary of the incorporation of Avon-by-the-Sea and has been presented each summer since, except during COVID.
In 1981, the first swim team visited Avon from Derry, Ireland and visited every summer until 2015, competing with the Avon Swim Team, the Navy Gators. As of 2022, an adult season badge is $100.00 and a child badge is $80.00. Residents can sponsor non-residents so that the pool can be enjoyed by more people.
Magrini said the reason behind the AHS launching this display series is to let people know that “we are active and want to find a way for people to learn a little history of the town.”
“I will be doing another display at the Avon Library which will be ready on Aug.1 and will focus on the other four big hotels we had in town. I would like to thank Al Cunningham at the Avon Post Office for allowing us to use his display case for our Avon Pool display,” she said.
For more information about the Avon Historical Society visit their website at avonbytheseahistoricalsociety.com