Ozarks Viewpoints

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Swimming

There always have been those who believed, so long as Cassville has included a swimming pool in her municipal services, that closing about Labor Day or before was too early. Just as we are experiencing this year, there is plenty of hot weather to warrant having a pool available over the holiday and perhaps even so long as hot weather persists.

Flat Creek

Back in the days of Flat Creek running free, there were sufficient swimming holes from the Galyn Bridge to near the Black School House that there was no worry about a place to take a dip when temperatures began to rise.

First of these was behind the Olsen home, where a good rope swing was in place to permit entry into the water. Further down stream was the Cable Hole, possibly the most popular of the up-stream swimming places. There was a cable on which to swing out over the water and provide a splashing cannon ball. There were shallows above and below the swimming area in which many a Cassville youth took their first swimming strokes. And, to the best of my knowledge, no girls were ever permitted in this swimming area.

Access

Reason for that last statement was probably the access of the pool of water. There was a gate in the fence near the Arthur Salyer filling station, which was located about where Ramey Super Market is now. This was useable, as was the path across the field, just so long as swimmers either went over the gate carefully or were positive they closed it as they passed through.

The requirement for the closing was to make sure Tweety Black's cows didn't get out. Mr. Black would walk the cows twice daily from the field to his home on Mill Street to complete the milking cycle.

There was an adequate path across the field, made jointly by swimmers and bovines, which permitted crossing barefoot since some youths seldom wore shoes in those days, especially during this time of the year. The problem in this area was being careful to not step on tumble bugs and their cargo of green cow pile.

Warm hole

Just a short float down stream was Warm Hole, so named because of the temperature, which was slightly warmer than other areas. This hole of water was virtually dead with little movement from shoals above or below.

This one was also a good place to catch small catfish, often trapped in milk cans placed there for this exact purpose.

Other areas

Just above the old reunion grounds, near an old quarry, there was the Cable Hole, mostly used by residents of the north part of town. Yes, there was that somewhat of a division in town in those days.

At the bend of Flat Creek at the reunion grounds, there was another good hole, one that was usually bridged during events to afford access to the grounds. This one had a high bank at the edge that provided a jumping access into the water.

Near the area where the Waste Water Plant now enters Flat Creek there was the Cannon Hole, although it was never investigated for a lost Civil War cannon as were other areas. This was a good swimming hole until a landowner cleared a bunch of trees and dumped them in the water to stop swimming parties in that water.

Further down stream was the Black Hole, which was not all that good due to the number of leaches in that water. A smoker was handy if you swam there.

Flood control

All of these holes, especially those above town, disappeared in later years as flood control efforts needed by Cassville first consisted of straightening the creek on the theory that getting the water through town faster would eliminate the worst flooding. This project probably helped, but didn't eliminate all the problems. Two or three of these projects were initiated, the last by Gene Writer, which combine with more ponds and grass, did stop some of the minor flooding in the central part of town.

Two industries, Jumping-Jack Shoes, later Justin, and FASCO took advantage of a dike being built between them and either Flat Creek or Little Troublesome, resulting from a couple of high-water scares.