The Price Hill Swimming Club - by Ray Grothaus, September 2022
The overly hot/dry days of this summer naturally lead us to finding relief from the heat. If you’re lucky enough to own a pool or have a pass to a swim club life is good. In the early decades of the twentieth century, Price Hill residents had their own “club” near 8th and Elberon.
The 1918 City directory lists the Price Hill Swimming Club at 750 Wells which is south of 8th Strett. The proprietors were father and son Frank L. and Frank C. Hanselmann who lived in the house at 750. Frank, Sr. owned a wholesale silk hosiery company in town, and his son was a travelling salesman for the firm. The complex consisted of an office, a changing house, and three separate pools. All were located in the backyards of 750 and 746 Wells.
The top pool, closest to Wells, was shallow and used by small kids. The middle one went from three to five feet in depth while the pool nearest to Fairbanks was for diving. The reason part of the compound was in the rear of 746 was because when the subdivision was plotted, there were lots facing Wells and lots facing Fairbanks. Hanselmann purchased a lot on Wells for his house, the lot behind his house and the lot behind 746 on Fairbanks for the pools. Or Bold Face Road. as it was called at the time. Today, the Hamilton County Auditor calls the swimming pool lot 709 Fairbanks. The property at 746 Wells was owned by Louis Fischer, a movie house operator. Hanselmann needed an easement for the water pipes feeding the pool so he bought an eight-foot wide strip through Fischer’s property back to the pools. According to Robert Goettke who grew at 1033 Wells, Fischer was co-owner of the Club, so maybe Hanselmann gave him a piece of the action in exchange for the land!
The pool was out of business by 1932, but its concrete frames still exist. If you drive down Fairbanks during the winter, you can see the remnants of the diving pool near the wall holding the hill back. Walk up the knoll a bit and you can see what’s left of the smaller pools and the changing building. The pool wasn’t in business very long, but the ruins remind us of its glory 100 years later.
PS The author has found no evidence that the rumor that Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan) practiced in this pool is true.