Bob Mitchell: Dog days of summers past

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Triple-digit temperatures experienced recently are nothing new in this area. They can easily be around for several days during the dog days of summer.

Today's answer to these sweltering times is obviously air conditioning, as far as residences or businesses are concerned. Replacing such cooling sources of the past such as fans and water coolers, modern answers to hot weather has also included water parks which are a far cry of the swimming facilities of the past.


Some of those of years gone by served their purposes until regulations arrived that those without treatment facilities would no longer be permitted in rural communities.

2 pools

Two of those facilities popular many years ago were Brock Swimming Pool and the Roaring River State Park pool.

Brock Pool, located at the southeast edge of Cassville on Mineral Springs Road, got its water source by a free-flowing spring of the same name. It was a concrete structure with diving facilities and a tower at the deep end. There were dressing rooms provided.

Being spring-fed, the water took a little getting used to when first entering, but in the hottest part of a summer day, mostly young people used the facility, making the water temperature of little consequence.

Roaring River pool was located near the old lodge. Although small, it was also spring-fed with the water coming off trout-rearing pools on the opposite side of a walkway.

Here, too, the spring source of water never let temperatures get warm enough to be comfortable. This didn't seem to bother those having access to the pool.

Both the Brock and park pools met their demise, being caught in modernization toward treated pools.

Bass Lake

Roaring River provided another swimming and wading source in Bass Lake, formed by an earthen dam at the lower portion of the developed park. The water here was also cold, not having much of a chance to warm during its travel from the park's huge spring.

Provided at the lake was a swimming dock that also gave access to wooden john boats that could be rented for a tour around the lake or to accompany those wanting to swim the length of the small lake.

A fast-flowing spillway was a favorite of those choosing to wade the waters for a cooling experience.


A pair of nearby rivers were sources of swimming, wading and general cooling most of the time in an outing that included a picnic adventure by families or groups of friends. Those days always provided advice that swimmers did not enter the water until an hour had passed from their eating from a well-filled table or pallet.

On the Kings, a spot known as the Jim Couch hole had a good gravel bar, water deep enough for swimming and a long rapid that gave a ride for tubers. Toward the end of this ride was a challenge to climb a bluff and sample some cool spring water.

This particular location is at one side of the present Green Shores Subdivision.

A White River location was in the vicinity of the Farwell Bridge that didn't survive the processes of Table Rock Lake. Gatherings of all types during the summer month used the waters of the White for cooling.

At each of the river locations, it wasn't unusual to find ardent fishermen wading away from the gatherings.

Roaring River near Eagle Rock and the swinging bridge and then close to a log dam further downstream, got a little warmer in this area and were popular spots.

Flat Creek

Then there were always the good spots on Flat Creek, easily reached for the town kids without transportation. At that particular time, the creek was free flowing and water temperatures were much more acceptable.

The one problem with Flat Creek came during the dog days of summer, when many parents were not all that happy about youngsters using those waters. There was even a problem with some fearing there might be a possibility of polio being connected with waters during this particular time.

9th month

Moving into the ninth month of the year, The Almanac has possibilities of cooler weather coming out of the north and into the plains.

The best fishing days are Sept. 6-9 and Sept. 17-18. Good fishing days are Sept. 5, 27 and 28.

There is mention of showers throughout the month, which will be welcome following dry periods that existed during the latter part of August.


Would you believe there are more lawn care people in Cassville than there are banks? Five banks are available to provide their services. Count the number of trailers with mowers aboard them sometime.

The mowers continue to be busy, even though grass isn't growing all that much this time of the year. The machines of today cover even the larger lawns in quick order.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.