Traci Telecky is the winner!!
The answer to this our 13th week of Orofino History Trivia is: Orofino Swimming Pool. Traci was among several people who submitted answers. Dworshak Dam was the most popular guess and it did and does have leaks. Another idea was the concrete water storage tanks that sit on hills above town.
The Orofino City Swimming Pool was opened for the first time on Aug. 22, 1954 after donations of $8,000 from Potlatch Corporation and $1,000 from Potlatch Forests Foundation finished paying off costs.
Building the pool was a true community effort both in fund raising and the actual work that was done. Looking through old newspapers at the Clearwater Historical Museum, one finds articles about contractors donating labor, lumber companies donating materials, individuals and organizations donating funds and even work days for volunteers to come and help paint. Some of the people I interviewed said they remembered a fund raising thermometer on the side of what is now the Barnett-Thompson Chevrolet building above the Top Cafe'.
When it was finished, the 50 by 90 foot pool was one of the largest in the state. According to the news article just before its opening, the pool was valued between $75,000 and $100,000.
Pam Steinbrueker worked at the pool for a number of years and remembers a year that one of the community's doctors shut it down because he was concerned about germs. She also remembered the beginnings of competitive swimming which was fostered by Joe Goffinett. Later she was involved in starting the swim team, Piranhas. There was also a water ballet program. They borrowed lights and speakers from the University of Idaho for their performances. Bill Cummings and some of his friends brought in bleachers.
Winner Traci Telecky wrote, "I took lessons at the Orofino swimming pool as a child growing up.(early 70's) I can remember when a bus took us in to lessons and back home again and I lived on the Cavendish Grade. I can also remember my mother taking us to the pool in the summer and it would be full of kids. Friends were made during this time. In my teen years, one of my best friends worked at the pool every summer. Her name is Susan Hutchinson Turner."
Orofino City Council reluctantly closed the pool several years ago due to the costs of maintenance and problems with leaking water. Several individuals involved with the Clearwater Community Complex are working diligently to make a new indoor pool a reality for the community. Check our Archives through the Search feature at the bottom left hand side of the home page for more information.
Monday: It leaked.
Tuesday: It sat on a hill surrounded by concrete.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544