Sunday, July 26, 2009

Granite Dells nostalgia

As a kid, I thought that a trip from Phoenix up to Prescott meant a trip to the Granite Dells, specifically the wonderful swimming pool/lake in the rocks where our extended family picnicked several times in the 30s. I was surprised to see that the bathhouse was gussied up when the dotter drove me through the Dells a couple of weeks ago, but later I heard assorted rumors that the resort was going to reopen as a private club, followed by yet another rumor that Dells residents had squashed that idea. Out of nostalgia, I'd love to see the pool re-opened, but not if I'm not invited.

What is surprising is that the diving boards and hand rails are still evident; I would have expected time to have taken its toll. The resort was closed in 1970 when the Payne family, the founders/owners, retired.

Prescott old-timer LindaG has posted not just postcard views, but also family pictures that date from the G.O.D. (Good Old Days) when this Dells resort enjoyed 70,000 visitors per year. The Santa Fe even made a special stop, morning and evening. Prescott Daily Photo also recently showed pictures of the area taken from inside the gate. Further: there was a Prescott Photo Walk last weekend in the Dells; I'd be curious if any pictures were taken of the old facility.

As a post script, we spotted this crunched cabin right next to the old bathhouse. Futher inspection revealed that a big, fat cottonwood had fallen over the little structure, possibly a long time ago.


Steve said...

Looks like it would be a great place for a lazy afternoon. If it was cleaned up, they could probably make a few dollars from the users.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

The shack is a darlin' parallelogram


Warren said...

Interesting post and links. Never been there, but I vaguely remember my older brother going out there before they closed.

When I was in High School there weren't many local swimming options other than the YMCA. Willow & Watson Lakes were private / closed / polluted, Goldwater Lake closed, and Lynx lake had banned swimmers (so we would have to tip our boat over and then save ourselves).

azlaydey said...

I dug out a photo of my kids swimming in the pool with my mom in the late 60's, and sent it to Linda to post.

Granny J said...

steve -- apparently the Dells residents nixed that idea.

bro -- isn't it just! I'm impressed by the way it's held together over time.

warren -- My one great year for swimming was the late summer/fall we lived at the beach near Jax in Florida. I was in third grade, if I remember correctly, and discovered the great advantage of salt water -- namely, that one could float quite easily. I shudder now at the chances I took back then...

lady -- those wer some great shots and they really gave a proper picture of the pool/lake.

Anonymous said...

Granny J,

I hope this post of yours encourages all Prescott-area residents to lobby for a refurbished (or new!) public pool here.

Prescott desperately needs public swimming pools.

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- both PV and CV have public pools; I don't know about the pool in PV, but the dotter and GD went to the outdoor pool in Chino which was elaborate with bells and whistles -- they loved it! But their criterin was that it be an outdoor pool. Otherwise, they surely could have managed to use the pool at the Y or Yavapai College, both what you might call quasi public.

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