Crystal Pool Near Fort Whiting

Dive into the history of Mobile's Crystal Pool with this 1930s photograph

Black and White photograph of Mobile's Crystal Pool in the 1930s.
Photo courtesy S. Blake McNeely Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama

In the 1930s, the crystal pool was the only outdoor pool in Mobile. The water attraction opened in 1933, located in Arlington Park, just across from Fort Whiting. It boasted fresh water and sand that covered the bottom, courtesy of a nearby artesian spring. A welcome relief from the city’s oppressive heat and humidity, the Crystal Pool was commonly frequented by some Mobilians who could not travel out of town or head to Spring Hill, which was noticeably less suffocating. The pool had a refreshment stand and diving board, pictured below, and offered swimming and diving lessons. Though popular, the Crystal Pool was short-lived, closing with Brookley Field’s development in the early 1940s.

“Incorporation papers were filed yesterday in probate court for the Crystal Pools, Inc…The firm will operate an amusement resort, swimming pool and dance pavilion. Incorporators were listed as Henry Izard, president and treasurer; Helen Izard, vice president, and C.C. Inge, secretary.”

– Excerpt from the February 11, 1933 edition of the Mobile Press-Register, as reprinted in the February 11, 2008 edition

By the Numbers

June 10
On this date in 1933, the Crystal Pool opened on Mobile’s waterfront, just in time for peak swimming season.

10 – 15 cents
The cost of admission to the Crystal Pool, as published in “Alabama; A Guide to the Deep South” in 1941.

The first year that women were allowed to compete in Olympic swimming, which was first introduced in 1896. 

The year Lastex, a rubber-covered yarn used for swimsuits, was created, preferable to the all-wool suits worn previously.

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