To Understand America’s Small Towns, Ask About Their Swimming Holes

Under a Waterfall or Inside an Old Quarry, These DIY Pools Are a Refreshing Way to Connect With Simple Pleasures of the Past

Hajdasz on swimming holes LEAD

Consider the swimming hole. It lacks the majesty of an ocean or the pedigree of a lake—forget about boating or surfing. A swimming hole is by its very nature utilitarian. It’s a hole. Filled with water. To swim in. Unlike its grander cousins, a swimming hole doesn’t exist on its own and doesn’t fulfill swimming hole-ness until someone actually gets in there and swims.

Swimming holes were born of necessity at a time when fabricated pools didn’t exist in most of America. Just before the turn of the 20th century, public …

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