Editor's note:?This is part of a periodic series focusing on notable places in Trumbull County that no longer exist.
The Warren Municipal Swimming Pool - also known as Packard Pool - in Packard Park, once located where the National Packard Museum now stands, was a center of fun and social activity in its prime.
Pat Galgozy, executive director at the Trumbull Art Gallery, was born and raised in Warren, and has great memories of Warren Municipal Pool during the 1940s and 1950s.
This photo shows swimming classes at the Warren Municipal Swimming Pool. Instructing the class is Patricia Treisch, who was the safety services director for the Trumbull County American Red Cross at the time.
Photo special to the Tribune Chronicle / Jay Rosenthal
"I could remember that the pool was an important part of Warren, and we rode the buses to the pool as children," Galgozy said.
"Many children in Warren would go down there for the day. They had a pool house where you could change your clothes and go into the pool. It was a pretty good-sized pool. Most of the time I went to the Packard Pool with my friends and we would also meet our other friends,'' Galgozy said.
Galgozy said that Packard Pool, as well as Packard Park, was a scenic destination during the 1940s.
"It was beautiful in the 1940s," she said. "I remember the Packard Park had a little Japanese Tea House, and there were beautiful flowers and a playground for the children."
Jim Rieser, resident of Warren, and retiree from Trumbull County Sheriff's Office, has many memories of the Warren Municipal Pool. His father, Bill Rieser, managed the pool during the 1960s and was also one of the first lifeguards of the pool.
"My mother tells me that I went into the pool when I was as young as 6 months old. I was not even a year old and was swimming in the Warren Municipal Pool," Rieser said.
Jim Rieser also worked as a lifeguard at the pool for three summers.
"My last summer working at the pool was 1971," Rieser said. "I was 15 when I became a lifeguard. You had to be 15 to get the life-saving certificate from the American Red Cross.
''When our lifeguards were on duty, they were really on the job watching the pool. Back then, when you were a lifeguard, you did not take your eyes off of the pool or you weren't working,'' he said.
Rieser said that there was a bronze plaque at the Warren Municipal Pool that indicated when the pool was built.
"It was built in 1933, 1934 under the public works program," Rieser said. "My father managed the pool up until the early 1970s, and then Glen Moore, a teacher at Warren G. Harding, managed the pool. Moore also coached swimming at the pool."
Rieser recalls that the Warren Municipal Pool attracted residents as far as Youngstown and all over Trumbull County.
"On Saturdays and Sundays, we had 1,300 to 1,400 people in the pool," Rieser said. "Everyone got along, and there were no big fights. You came to the pool to have a good time and to swim. If you got out of line, you were showed the door and never came back. There were eight or nine lifeguards on duty, and we never had any problems."
John J. Hanick Jr. of Warren holds fond memories of the Packard Pool in its heyday. Hanick used to go to the Packard Pool in the late 1930s.
"There was a city admission to the pool, and it was owned by the city of Warren at the time," Hanick said. "They had a ticket booth at the pool, and you bought a ticket and that got you into the pool. They would give you a basket for your clothes and then someone would put the basket of your clothes on holding shelves while you were in the pool."
Hanick enjoyed The Warren Municipal Pool and felt it was a great place to have fun during the summer months.
"At the Warren Municipal Pool, you could take swimming lessons and they had pool guards stationed around the pool sitting on high chairs watching the pool," Hanick said.
James D. "Jim" McFarland of McFarland and Son Funeral Services in Warren was a past president of the Trumbull County Historical Society and one of the founders of the National Packard Museum. McFarland remembers the Warren Municipal Pool and used to go to the pool during the 1960s.
"At the Warren Municipal Pool, you saw all of your classmates, and one mother would take all of the kids from the neighborhood to the pool for the day and then another mother would take all the kids from the neighborhood the next day," McFarland said. "You could take your bike to the pool and leave it out front."
Jay Rosenthal, volunteer from the Trumbull County Chapter of the American Red Cross, recalls giving swimming lessons at the Warren Municipal Pool during the 1960s.
"I was a volunteer for The American Red Cross, and we were all working together to teach children how to swim," Rosenthal said. "We taught swimming lessons using station teaching, where a skill was taught, and instead of one instructor teaching all of the skills, you had multiple instructors teaching multiple skills."
Martha Ellers, past president of the Trumbull County Historical Society and Warren resident, has memories of the Packard Pool.
"My fondest memories were taking my children to swimming lessons in 1968, 1969 and 1970," Ellers said.
Ellers said that the Packard Pool was a spacious swimming pool.
"The pool was deep enough to have two diving boards, one that was really low and another one that was really high. The pool did not have lanes painted on the bottom, but I am guessing that the pool was around eight lanes wide," Ellers said.
The Warren Municipal Pool was a resourceful summer recreational venue for Trumbull County residents and was a destination that just screamed the word "summer.''
"In later years, the Packard Pool decreased in attendance, and other places for people to swim opened up," Galgozy said.
"The Packard Pool was a well-used pool and a great place for kids to go to at the time," Ellers said. "Places such as Willow Lake in Champion and Farmer Jim's were not opened at the time. If you wanted to swim, you went to the Packard Pool."
To Rieser, when it came to outdoor recreation and summer fun, there was nothing like the Warren Municipal Pool.
"The Warren Municipal Pool was a good place for kids to have fun and be safe," he said.