Monday, September 18, 2017

As summer ends, swimming and beach days are nearly over...

          Here is a look back at wonderful summer days at Spec Pond Beach made possible by local women’s clubs from 1957-58.

          In 1957 there was no safe and convenient place close to Kezar Falls for children to swim. So the 21 Club and L.M.R. Club – both members of the Maine Federation of Women’s Clubs, decided to take this on as a project. The results were submitted to the National Federation of Women’s Clubs Community Achievement Contest.
          This was no minor task. Some work had been started in 1956 but could then continue because of this project. The area had to be sprayed for insect control, several feet of bark from logs stored in the water after the 1937 hurricane had to be removed, clearing of brush, building of a road to the location, grading and bringing in sand.  Picnic tables, floats and toilets had to be built.  A qualified swimming instructor and assistant were hired and free swimming instructions from beginners to Senior Life Saving was made available 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks each summer.  Volunteers helped during each swimming hour to take the roll, handle discipline on shore, attend to sanitation problems and all minor emergencies. And needless to say, the time and effort to seek donations of money, material and labor was ongoing.
          As a result of the long hours of hard work by many community members, under the direction of the women’s clubs, a beautiful beach area was cleared and made available for use at all times of day for picnics and recreation for the whole community. 
Spec Pond Beach general swim area 1958
Beginners class and Instructor Sidney Griffith 1958
Spec Pond Beach with picnic tables. -  1958

Swim beach at Spec Pond 1958

The summer swim program continued for many years to the benefit of countless local children.  It eventually was turned over to the Sacopee Recreation Council who ran it through the summer of 2015.  Unfortunately it was discontinued due primarily to lack of interest.  The beach however is still open and available to the community during the summer months.