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What a pool it was, too. An acre in size, the pool opened July 17, 1924. At the time it was said that the pool “is clearly among the largest, and costliest in America.” Masonry walls of massive granite enclosed the pool. “The water was continuously filtered, chlorinated, aerated and introduced to the pool through an attractive grotto and splashing waterfall–all the machinery for these purposes being noiselessly operated by electricity.” Ocean sand provided for a nice beach.
The lake and pool were part of the 2000 acre subdivision begun in 1924. Nationally known city planner John Nolen was given a free hand to employ his best talents in the layout and arrangement of the holdings of the subdivision’s owners. During the summer of 1925, the swimming pool was the scene of an important meet of the World’s Olympic Swimmers with large crowds attending. [“Beaver Lake,” 12/20/1925, Asheville Citizen.]
The recreational features included a casino, golf course, bath house and even a Tea House. A dwelling that stood near the swimming pool was converted into a delightfully rustic and inviting lakeside Tea House, purely to add pleasure of life in Beaver Lake. It served luncheon, afternoon tea and dinner.
Many people recreated at the pool over the decades.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported in January 1953 that the 157 Lake View property owners voted two-to-one in favor of dismantling the 26-year-old pool. They cited that the pool had been operating at a deficit for several years and that its equipment, including the chlorination system, was worn out. An online timeline of Beaver Lake says that the following month, the lake was drained to allow removal of the concrete walls, leaving only one portion. Rob Neufeld wrote about the demise of the pool in The Asheville Citizen-Times June 25, 2008, with information from Joe Hiles Jr. whose father had been commissioner of the pool in the 1940s. He said “that the problem with the wall separating the lake water from the pool water weakened to the point that lake water was entering the pool faster than the filter systems could clean the water for swimming.” He added that the walls would have been too expensive to rebuild.
Post by Zoe Rhine, Librarian