Oregon Design and Architecture Oregon History

Oregon City swimming pool


Scribbled on the back of the photo in pencil is: New swimming pool at Oregon City.

File this baby under, “creepy.”

Have some time for some low-level navel gazing? Pull up a chair.

Lost Oregon was never intended to be a history blog. It was more of a way for me to explore Portland through the eyes of recent history – most notably the post WWII era – and the myriad of postcards, brochures, pictures, that seemed to fall in my lap at various ye olde junk shops and thrift stores around town. It just kind of morphed into a blog that definitely falls under historical. The changes in Portland in just the past 20 years have been enormous so the comparisons of “now” vs. “then” can be striking.

Lately, additional content for the blog has had another venue –Twitter. There, at @lostoregon, I post short bits about buildings, older historical businesses or museums – many that are closing. Gone. Oregon’s history is disappearing in front of us. Doing these quick Tweets, it finally dawned on me that instead of slowly fading away like an old building that’s been ignored for years and eventually demolished, the cuts and demolitions are daily. I feel like I’m recording history being erased.

But, instead of being an undertaker I still plan on celebrating Oregon’s uniqueness – and its colorful history through found imagery. Lost Oregon certainly won’t turn into an economics blog, that’s for sure.  I’ll let someone else write the state’s obit – I’ll merely illustrate it.

10 replies on “Oregon City swimming pool”

I just found Lost Oregon via Twitter. I grew up here in the 1960s and 1970s, moved away and came back in 2003. While I love what Portland’s become, I too miss what it used to be and look forward to more of your posts on my “old” hometown.

Hi Michelle,

thanks for the comment – checked out your blog – great stuff. [Former editor here, dipping my toes into freelance writing.]


Great blog! Thanks so much for documenting what was Portland in the recent past.

I’ve always loved old places, and Portland’s old places always seemed to be a part of the new, still standing, still being used for new purposes. In the past few years this has changed radically, like you said, massive changes are happening too quickly to even comprehend.

My father in law, Mother in law, and Husband all have swam in this pool. It was not heated nor was it filtered. Every Monday they would drain the pool and refill it and everyone had to wait till Tuesday or Wednesday before it was warm enough to swim in it again.

I think the creek or river would do just as good as this city pool.

That outdoor swimming pool is long long long gone. There are tennis courts there now. Oregon City built an indoor pool a couple of blocks away in the 1960’s to replace that outdoor one. When I was a child in OC in the ’60’s, the city gov’t stored the outdoor Christmas decorations in the old shower/changing room building here at this old outdoor swimming pool. By Christmas decorations I mean the gigantic illuminated Candy Canes that were attached to each lamp post on Main Street in OC.

Spent a lot of time at that pool in the 1950s, very crowded and popular place. You put your clothes in a metal basket and the attendant gave you a large safety pin with a number on it. Hung the pin on your swim suit while swimming. Wonderful, wonderful place, some of my favorite childhood memories.

I grew up in Oregon City in the 50s-70s. The old outdoor pool was spring fed and ice cold. It was locally referred to as “the Tank”. The new indoor pool was finished in 1965. All the area schools held mandatory swim lessons there. Great program.

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