Swimming Holes & Pools
Another great poll! Ice cold water, snakes, skinny dipping, Tarzan rope swings. This poll brought back memories for a lot of Coal Crackers. Many remembered the good times they had swimming during their childhood. Others had more "adult" remembrances.
Notice the variety of names. Anywhere from "Number 8 Reservoir" to "The Suckie". Does anyone know the etymology of some of the more unusual names? Many places are known by more than one name, so there may be some duplicates shown below.
A word of caution: Even though there are many good times represented in this list, please remember that most of these places are abandoned strippings or flooded remains of the mine-scarred landscape. They are very dangerous (and usually illegal) places to swim.
Here's the Top Ten....
1. The Mile - Shamokin
Located on the west side of Shamokin, going toward Trevorton, the Mile collected the most votes in our poll. A very popular swimming spot by day, and party spot by night. It is said that the mile is up to 100 ft deep or more in some areas. At its widest point, it may be about 150 to 200 feet wide. Site of many drownings over the years. See picture. And another picture. 2. The Lilly - Centralia
I think everyone that's ever lived in Centralia voted for the Lilly. It's another strippin' pit that hit the water table. 3. The A-Hole - Girardville
A popular swimming and partying spot for generations. A cliff called "the big red", a beach, and a diving rock. On a good day, you can see the junkyard at the bottom. 4. Reichwein's - Lavelle
Many fond memories of learning to swim at Reichwein's. Ice-cold water. According to the Shamokin gals, this was THE place to meet guys. 5. The Greenie - between Shenandoah and Brandonville
For generations, Shenandoah's favorite swimming spot. From a viewer: "My teen-age daughter spent a summer in Shenandoah with her cousins. When she came back to New York, she couldn't wait to tell me about this incredibly cool place to go swimming called the Greenie. It blew her mind when I told her I used to swim there when I was her age." 6. The Whimsey - between Wadesville and St. Clair
An abandoned strippin' pit on the old Dark Water road. 7. Beury's Grove - between Gordon and Lavelle
Pronounced "Berry's". A great family fun place. A 30-foot tower for diving, a little train and merry-go-round, and great dances. Formerly known as "Moon Lake". Now privately owned land. No longer has the tower or anything except the lake. 8. The Bluie - between Locust Dale and Locust Gap
Also known as "The Slopes". 9. The Caves - Burnside (outside Shamokin)
Complete with diving board, a wooden raft, and the best cliffs for diving. On one side was a sand beach. To get there, you had to walk about a quarter to a half mile over what looked like the surface of the moon. 10. (tie) The Powder Hole (a.k.a. The Trestle) - Wapwallopen / Nescopeck
Note: The Powder Hole is Private Property. No Trespassing!
Located off RT 93 just over the Nescopeck montain going to Berwick, close to an overlook called "Council Cup". The local tale was that area was used to manufacture and store gun powder during the Civil War, hence the name the powder hole. There were a number of old dilapidated stone buildings and foundations that had given way to the woods around the area. The small stream forms a pool about 15 ft deep, the pool is fed by a 50 ft waterfall and on top of the falls is an old trestle. 10. (tie) Tuscarora State Park - Tuscarora
Another fondly remembered spot. Remember the red, white, and blue "bomb" pops? From a viewer: "I fell in love with the man I married while watching him skip rocks at Lake Tuscarora on our first date". 10. (tie) Edgewood Pool ("the Edgie") - Shamokin
At one time, the largest pool in Pennsylvania. No filter; drained every Sunday night and refilled with spring water every Monday morning. Had a great chocolate bar called a "cho-cho". Honorable Mention
- Angela Park - Route 309. A great little amusement park.
- Ashley Reservoir (the Rezzy) - Ashley/Hanover Twp.
- The Baby Bathtub - Ashley/Hanover Twp.
- Bare Ass Beach (Crystal?) - outside Ashland.
- The Basin - Plains Twp, behind Pocono Downs.
- The Bass Dam - Blackwood. With a cable across the water that you could slide down on a bike frame.
- The Bathtub - on the way to the Joe Zerbe Airport.
- The Batty - Ashland. (or is it "The Baddy" ?)
- Bear Valley Dam - Coal Township.
- Beer Bellies - Wilkes-Barre.
- Big Blue - between Freeland and Upper Lehigh.
- Black Diamond - Beury.
- The Blue and Green - on the mountain behind Reevesdale.
- Blue Canyon (aka The Pecos) - Frackville / Morea road.
- Blue Waters - New Philadelphia.
- Bluewater - Plains.
- The Bore Hole - outside Mahanoy City, between the Vulcan and the Protestant cemetery.
- The Brick Dam - Preston Hill, past Big Mine Run. A long walk, but worth it. This one submitted by a 72-year old Coal Cracker. Also called "The Bricky". Near "The Bathtub".
- The Brick Plant - Hazle Village, between Hazleton and McAdoo.
- The Brickey - Sebastopal.
- The Brickyard - on the road to Orwigsburg.
- Brownie's - atop the Sheppton Mountain.
- The BVD - outside Trevorton.
- The Canal - Hauto Dam.
- Canaries - Bear Creek.
- The Canyons - outside Trevorton.
- Cats - between New Philadelphia and Middleport.
- The Cementie (Trenton Dam) - Park Place.
- The Channel - behind Diener's Hill.
- The Cherry - Brockton.
- The Chester - Ashley/Hanover Twp.
- The Coffee Pot - Beaver Meadows.
- The Crater - between Kulpmont and Mt. Carmel. A huge swimming hole. Legend has it that there are still cranes and rescue ambulances under water.
- The Crick in Lofty - Lofty.
- The Crystal - in the strippings outside Trevorton.
- Crystal Clear - Middle Creek, near Donaldson and Tremont. About 100 feet long, twenty feet wide, and about 20 feet deep. The steep far wall, with the culm bank behind it, was made of sheer rock and had a large boulder protruding out of the side about 15 feet up. This made an ideal platform for diving.
- Crystal Springs - behind Fairlane Village Mall.
- The Dam - Park Place.
- Dando's - Llewellyn.
- Dick's - between Buck Run and Forestville.
- The Docks - Schuylkill Haven.
- East Side Pool - Pottsville.
- Eurana Park - Weatherly.
- F& S Brewery Dam - below Tharptown.
- Frackville Community Pool - Frackville.
- The Freezy - on the Broad Mtn. The name says it all. If you stay in longer than a minute, you can say good-bye to "the boys"
- The Glen - Jim Thorpe.
- The Goosie - Ashley/Hanover Twp.
- The Grapey - south of West Hazleton.
- Green Springs - Pottsville (Jallapa). Filled in because of too many injuries.
- Greeny Pond - outside Summit Hill.
- The Herc - outside Mahanoy City.
- Hot Rocks - below West West Terrace.
- Hunlock's Creek - West Nanticoke.
- The Ice Dams - outside Shendo.
- The Icebox - near Lykens,on Rattling Creek.
- Ideal Park - over the Little Mountain from Ringtown.
- The Iron Bridge - past Knoebels.
- The Jackies - Raven Run.
- Jake's - Brier City.
- JFK Pool - Pottsville.
- The Jigger Dams - outside Shendo. Built to capture overflow water from the main water dams and supply the water tank for the Lehigh Valley RR. Snakes and skinny dippin' !
- Keller's Pond - Conyngham.
- The Keyhole - between Freeland and Upper Lehigh.
- Knoebels - Elysburg. Swim all day, dance all night to the juke box at the circular dance floor.
- Lake Hauto - Nesquehoning.
- Lakeside - between Barnesville and Mahanoy City. Had a wooden raft build about 50 yards out called "The Navy".
- Lakewood - Barnesville.
- Lansford Pool - Lansford.
- Little Italy Strippins - Nesquehoning / Lansford road.
- Marlin Dam - Marlin, outside Pottsville.
- Millie - Ashley/Hanover Twp.
- Motors - on the Burma Road.
- The Mud Hole - Brockton, behind the Springfield cemeteries.
- The Muddy - outside Frackville.
- Nay Aug Park - Scranton. You could jump from rock formations known as the chair, the couch, and the infamous "killer"
- The Northie - Upper Lehigh, near Freeland.
- Number 10 - between Marion Heights and Sagon.
- Number 12 - the north mountain of Coaldale.
- Number 2 Reservoir - Beaver Meadows.
- Number 5 - other side of I-81 from McAdoo.
- Number 8 Watershed - about a mile outside Kelayres.
- The Ocean - north of Middleport.
- Paradise - north of Tamaqua, on the way to Tuscarora.
- Park Place Dams 1, 2, 3, and 4 - Park Place.
- Pecas's Pool - between Frackville and Mahanoy City. From a viewer: "I lost my virginity there right in plain view of Interstate 81."
- The Pottsy - old Pottsville water dam, just over the hill from the Schuylkill Mall.
- The Project - Trevorton.
- Raven Run Number 1 Dam,Raven Run, between Lost Creek and Shendo.
- Rock Bottom - southeast of Mahanoy City.
- Rock Street Pool - Shamokin.
- The Rocky - Ashley/Hanover Twp.
- Rocky Bottom - between Llewellyn, Phoenix Park, and Stein's Mill.
- Rocky Glen - Moosic.
- The Rosie - between Mahanoy City and Delano.
- Saddle Rock - Taggertsville, near Tamaqua.
- The Sandy - Ashley/Hanover Twp,.
- Sandy Beach - outside Shendo.
- Schoentown Strippins - behind Schoentown.
- The Secret - outside Middleport. A half-started stripping hole that hit an underground spring. Had a rope swing, a cliff diving area, several shacks and a boat dock.
- Shendo Heights Pool - Shendo Heights.
- Shen-Penn Dam - outside Shendo.
- The Six Foot - ???
- Smokey Hollow - outside Shendo.
- Solomon's Crick - Ashley/Hanover Twp.
- Spring Brook Park - near Roaring Creek.
- The Squarie - ???
- Stauffer's Park - outside Ringtown. Hand-dipped Teaberry or Black Rasberry ice cream, picnic grounds, playing pinochle until you fried. Stauffer's made for a great Sunday afternoon. You could even rent a cabin there for the summer. See Picture
- Stone Mountain Manor - Cressona.
- The Stone Pits (aka The Quarry) - outside Minersville, near the Joe Zerbe Airport.
- Stoney Creek - behind old West Hazleton High School.
- The Suckie - Forestville.
- Sulphur Creek - outside Shendo, in Ringtown Valley.
- Sulphur Dam - outside Shendo.
- Tom's Tub - between Delano and Mahanoy City.
- Top Dam - above Sandy Beach, outside Shendo.
- The Tub - Beaver Meadow.
- The Tubes - Bear Creek.
- Tumbling Run - south of Pottsville, off Rte 61. In the early 1900's, there were boathouse cabins, dancehalls, docks, etc. on the lake. It is now a resovoir for Schuylkill Haven.
- The Tunnel - Jermyn.
- The Twinnies - just east of the Herc outside Mahanoy City, off the train tracks toward Delano. This is not a place for non-swimmers. First step, up to your knee; 2nd step, up to your waist; 3rd step, way over your head.
- Twin Lakes - between Minersville and Buck Run.
- Wambies (now Red Ridge) - between Nuremburg and Zion's Grove.
- The Whaleback - past the third patch in Coal Township.
- White Haven Crick - between White Haven East Side and White Haven State Park.
- White Rock - West Hazleton. To get there, you had to cross both the north and south lanes of I-81. And that's tough to do while lugging a cooler filled with beer and ice, some pitz from Senape's charcoal, dogs, buns, etc.
- Whitmeir's Cabin - Auburn.