Splish splash

CRESTON — Creston is holding a pool party.

To mark the 100th birthday of the pool — making it the oldest in Nebraska — the community is hosting a party Sunday, July 7.

There will be a picnic meal from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., for $5 per plate, and the pool opens at noon.

Admission is 25 cents, the same as in 1919.

There will be games in the park and pool, including bingo, face painting, a coin dive, wheelbarrow races, kids’ games, softball throw and watermelon dive.

Joan Hollatz, village clerk and one of the organizers of the event, said the community works hard to maintain the pool and park.

“Over here we have a lot of people who volunteer to update and clean and keep things going,” she said. “It’s a source of pride. Our park and pool are our big thing, and like I said, people volunteer because they want to keep it going.”

It takes work to maintain a 100-year-old pool. Hollatz said the sides, bottom and deck have been redone, and last year a new filter tank was purchased through funds provided by the village and donations.

“This year we had a couple women spearhead a clean-up and painting, and they’ve done a lot for the pool and the park. They’ve gotten a lot of people to help. Everybody does a little bit, and that makes it easier,” she said.

The work to maintain the pool pays off, as it stays busy during the summer.

Hollatz said she counted about 40 people at the pool on a Monday afternoon.

“That’s on a Monday, so I’m impressed,” she said.

The idea for the pool started in 1917.

According to the Creston Centennial History book, in 1917, concerned for the safety and health of the children who were swimming in the creeks, Dr. Harry G. Morris, a local physician and surgeon, promoted the idea of a pool in Creston.

In 1918, according to the June 28 edition of the Creston Statesman newspaper, the idea for a pool is laid out for public discussion.

In early July 1919, a site was unanimously selected and $1,200 was raised in 10 minutes.

A “Plunge Committee” went to Omaha and purchased an acre of ground from the Pioneer Town Site Co. for $200 and was given a 25-year lease and option on a 30-acre out-lot.

A couple of memories from Creston residents were there were no lifeguards in earlier years. One lady stated that she was at a girls’ slumber party in 1945.

At midnight, the girls wanted to go swimming, so they contacted the village cop and he opened the pool for them.

In other news

State health officials have confirmed the death of a woman in North Central Nebraska from West Nile virus.