Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Swimming at the East Lake Natatorium in 1895, Phoenix, Arizona



It's 1895, we're in Phoenix, so let's go swimming at at East Lake Park. They call it a natatorium, but it's just a fancy word for an indoor swimming pool.

And may I say how wonderful you look in your bathing costume! Careful now, I think you may be showing a bit too much ankle - you don't want to get arrested for indecent exposure you know! And if I do say so myself, I think that I look pretty good in my bathing suit, a little snug in the shoulders, but I really like those horizontal stripes!


Yes, of course there are places to change there, you don't think that we're going to ride on the street car dressed like this! Don't worry about the expense, I'll pay the nickel fare for both us, I have a dime here somewhere that I've been saving up for this. And Moses Sherman will let us in to the natatorium free since we're riding his street car. And yes, you can go there, it's Friday evening, and I'm your escort. And if I may say, your charming and handsome escort! Well, OK, your escort anyway.

The street cars to the Natatorium in front of the old Court House, 1st Avenue and Washington, Phoenix, Arizona.

Here we are, that didn't take very long. Here's East Lake Park. I can see the lake, and the boats, from here.

What a building! And that water is so clear - so much nicer than jumping in a canal. And there are diving boards, so I'm going to do my famous "jackknife" dive that most people just call a "belly flop". Let's get into the water! Last one in's a rotten egg!

Come on in, the water's fine! What? No, I had no idea. Your bathing costume can't get wet or it will be ruined? What kind of a bathing costume is that? Oh, I see. Well, you can just sit there looking beautiful while I splash around!

Note: Although the lake, the boats, and the indoor swimming pool are long gone, Eastlake Park, which is at 16th Street and Jefferson, is still there. And whether there were actually alligators in the lake, or if it's just an urban myth, there are concrete alligators in the playground.

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