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Kidd Springs

Posted by Dennis H 
Kidd Springs
May 31, 2010 12:39PM
When did the actual springs cease being a swimming area? By the time I first saw them in the early 60s, it was a murky water hole we just walked around. A chlorinated concrete swimming pool had been built nearby. My parents and their generation certainly recalled the original springs.
Re: Kidd Springs
May 31, 2010 03:45PM
Spoke with my mother today about this. She moved with her parents to Dallas from a farm near Forney (actually Talty or Irish Ridge) in 1939. She recalls the springs during the early 1940s. There was a barge in the middle to which you could swim and dive from. Perhaps the later drought and polio scare killed off the original swimming hole. She could not pinpoint a date. She mentioned swimming out at White Rock Lake a few times.
Re: Kidd Springs
May 31, 2010 09:39PM
Dennis -

I will try to find/post the link to previous discussion on this forum and a picture (pic might be of Lake Cliff pool). According to what I remember from that earlier post, Kidd Springs and Lake Cliff pools were both huge (and hugely popular) public pools that unfortunately lacked a recirculating pump (apparently too expensive to install for such large pools?) and were both closed in the mid-fifties for health concerns during the polio scare.

Disclaimer: I was not even in Dallas at the time these pools were used, so anyone who actually knows, please correct me if I am wrong.

Also: Not sure if the pool at Fair Park (also huge) was closed at this time/for same reason. Anyone more knowledgable please jump in, as I am over my head already, no pun intended.
Re: Kidd Springs
May 31, 2010 09:53PM
Dennis - the discussion I recalled (http://www.symmonline.com/phorum/read.php?2,67741,67755#msg-67755) is primarily about Lake Cliff, but also mentions Kidd Springs and White Rock pools (thought everyone swam in the lake @ White Rock, didn't know there was a pool, too).
Re: Kidd Springs
May 31, 2010 10:03PM
Funny thing. That Arcadia Publishing pictorial book on White Rock Lake mentioned chlorinating the swimming area. How odd! I thought the swimming area was nothing more than a roped-off area of the lake, not contained by a concrete wall or anything. Any chlorination agent would be diluted out. I need to re-read that.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 01, 2010 12:40AM
I remember the swimming area and the old diving platform that used to be out there - we used to careen our keelboat on the shore just above the masonry shoreside retaining wall, right in front of the bathhouse, to scrub the keel and repaint the bottom. I don't think there was ever a retaining wall out in the lake. At least I was never aware of one.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 01, 2010 03:33AM
Lake Cliff Pool which was 311ft X 167ft had no circulating pump and White Rock Pool, which was being used for drinking water again, were never opened in 1953 because of the drought. Neither was ever opened again. Fair Park Pool was closed after the 1953 season because of poor attendance and they wanted the space for parking. Kidd Springs, I think, was also closed in 1953. The city Health Officer would not let Kidd Springs or White Rock reopen because of the Polio scare. Yes, they did clorinate White Rock Pool even though it was part of the lake. POLIO had every one afraid of everything because we did not know what caused it. We all knew someone who contracted it during these days. That IRON LUNG was a scary thing.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 01, 2010 04:02AM
Polio was a scary thing, but likely more so for our parents than for us kids. My wife remembers riding bikes with a gang of friends in the fog behind the DDT truck, and I remember standing in the powdery mist as it went by. Got my first polio vaccine on a sugar cube when I was a freshman in college.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 01, 2010 05:04AM
I was a kid in the 30s and 40s and a parent in the 50s before the vacine came on the scene. I knew the fear from both levels.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 01, 2010 08:20AM
I was born in 1954, pretty late in the game for polio, but I still remember getting the vaccines, and how concerned my parents and all the other adults were about us kids getting it. I remember seeing iron lungs as contemporary hospital ward equipment and being told what they were for. Finally, I remember some kids my own age and older having to wear the leg braces. They were the luckier ones among those who contracted it.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 04, 2010 03:34PM
you are correct sir
Re: Kidd Springs
June 07, 2010 01:14PM
I remember the Polio Scares at the Swimming Pools in Dallas back in late 40's, early 50's, especially at Lake Cliff which we went to quite a bit. I had an Aunt that had Polio and spent quite a bit of time in an Iron Lung........She eventually did live a pretty full life though.....For some reason I thought the Fair Park Pool closed in 59 or 60.........Bill Strouse
Re: Kidd Springs
October 09, 2012 03:56PM
Bill Strouse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember the Polio Scares at the Swimming Pools
> in Dallas back in late 40's, early 50's,
> especially at Lake Cliff which we went to quite a
> bit. I had an Aunt that had Polio and spent
> quite a bit of time in an Iron Lung........She
> eventually did live a pretty full life
> though.....For some reason I thought the Fair Park
> Pool closed in 59 or 60.........Bill Strouse

I swam in both the Fair Park pool and the Lake Cliff pool in the late 1950s.

The big drouth in the 1950s actually lasted for seven years, starting in 1950 and ending with the big floods of 1957 (which began in April with the Dallas tornado of same year). I swam regularly in Dallas pools from 1955 when we moved to Dallas, in both the local neighborhood pools that were called Red Cross Pools, though I think the Parks Department actually operated them, and in the big pools. The local neighborhood pools were in both parks and on school yards, and they did not have a truly deep end of the pool with diving boards. I think the maximum depth was about 4 feet. Those pools are where many Dallas kids had their swimming lessons. They had no chlorination system, but were "shocked" with chlorine by hand each day after the pool closed for the day. One did not have to pay to swim in those small pools, but did at the larger city pools.

In winter the small pools were drained, and kids would play dodge ball and other games in the empty pools.

I do not remember pools being closed because of the drouth, though that may have happened. Nineteen-fifty-six was the worst year of the drouth, simply because it had gone on for so long. But, the city had arranged for water from Lake Texhoma by then, and though it was poor quality water, at least it was water. As has been mentioned on other threads, we filled jugs at Stevens Park for drinking and cooking water because of the high salt content of the Red River Water.

When the rains returned in 1957, they came with a vengence. Garza Little Elm Reservoir was projected to fill and merge with Lake Dallas after several years of normal rainfall. It filled the same year the dam was closed, 1957. There were serious floods all spring and summer over most of Texas, but of course we heard most about Dallas.

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2012 08:26PM by old man from dallas.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 09, 2017 09:43AM
The City of Dallas is moving ahead with plans to daylight Kidd Springs and getting it running again. This was discussed with them a few years ago about the location of the spring source further off park property than thought. Regardless, it appears as though they decided it was on park property in a slight hillside not far from the current Kidd Springs pond.

It will be interesting to see if water will flow from this area. Who knows. Wait and see I guess. Work starts soon I think.

Re: Kidd Springs
June 09, 2017 04:20PM
Ralph F. Black Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lake Cliff Pool which was 311ft X 167ft had no
> circulating pump and White Rock Pool, which was
> being used for drinking water again, were never
> opened in 1953 because of the drought. Neither was
> ever opened again. Fair Park Pool was closed after
> the 1953 season because of poor attendance and
> they wanted the space for parking. Kidd Springs,
> I think, was also closed in 1953. The city Health
> Officer would not let Kidd Springs or White Rock
> reopen because of the Polio scare. Yes, they did
> clorinate White Rock Pool even though it was part
> of the lake. POLIO had every one afraid of
> everything because we did not know what caused it.
> We all knew someone who contracted it during these
> days. That IRON LUNG was a scary thing.

I swam in the Fair Park pool as late as 1958. It was an odd public swimming pool, above grade. Yes, it was huge.

I remember my niece taking Red Cross Swimming Lessons at Lake Cliff in about 1960, or certainly in the late 1950s. But it did close around that time. By 1956 the original Kidd Springs had closed for swimming, but there was a concrete pool there that was used for other kinds of recreation. Kids even fished there. I don't know if the water in that pool was from the spring or not. A few years later there definitely was no spring.

Any earth bottom pool in the Dallas area should be suspect for swimming, because of _Naegleria_, an amoeba that cause amoebic encephalitis. The amoeba lives in warm water, usually in the sediments, but anything that disturbs the bottom suspends them in the water. When water enters the nose, the amoebas make their way up the nerve paths from there to the brain, causing an almost always fatal infection. There have been at least two cases as a result of swimming at Sandy Lake. Children are most likely to be infected, but there have been adults as well. Two or three cases occur in the southern U.S. yearly.

According to this:

[friendsofoakcliffparks.org]

The Lake Cliff swimming pool closed in 1959, and polio concerns were cited as a reason in the article I linked. I don't know if that was in fact the case. The pool was fifty years old by then, and the small Red Cross pools, also without recirculating filtration and chlorination systems, were operating and popular. By 1959 polio vaccine (the Salk vaccine, injected) was in use, though I don't know if most children were vaccinated. The big vaccine push was in the early sixties when the Sabin oral vaccine was given out to all citizens who would accept it as a public health initiative. My whole family went to the city hall in Cockrell Hill and stood in line to get our sugar cubes with many other people. My wife was not vaccinated at that time, because her family feared (along with a substantial number of others) that the vaccine itself might cause the disease.

Not to get too political, but can you imagine the yelping if the government began vaccinating the whole population, no charge, for anything today?

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2017 10:27PM by old man from dallas.
Re: Kidd Springs
June 10, 2017 11:19AM
We had both the Salk and Sabin in our family. One of my mother's younger cousins had polio and walked on braces when we were kids, so there was no hesitation about it in our house. Our pediatrician, George Branch, recommended the Salk and the whole family stood in line with the rest of the neighborhood at Harry C. Withers School for the Sabin sugar cubes. I'm not sure if it was the public health department or DISD who led that effort. Public health was more proactive back then. I remember waiting in line in the auditorium of Walnut Hill School to get my scalp checked for ringworms in the late 50's. There were horror stories about what would happen to you if the nurse found any of the little offenders. The rumor was that they would shave your head and make you wear a sock on it until it cleared up.

Victoria Snyder Alvey
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