The lake at the Hopewell Quarry Swimming Club was not just for swimming – there also were a variety of boats and floats used in the water.
Some of these were for play and relaxation, while others were there for the lifeguards so they could quickly get to someone who needed help.
So here are some examples of quarry watercraft, from an archive of photos that we organized for the Memories of the Hopewell Quarry presentation.
The 1946 photo shows a Navy life raft – the Quarry acquired some of these after World War II. They have a buoyant outer oval ring, and a webbed floor. The rafts seem to have aged well, as they were still around in the 1960s.
The Quarry was being operated through this period by Dezzie and Ann Casey.
We also have this approximately 1948 photo of Dezzie Casey at the Quarry with a long board.
These kinds of flat surfboards allowed lifeguards to swim rapidly to someone who needed help, and then provided a firm base for swimmers to grab on to, and even could be flipped to pull the swimmer onto the board.
The 1962 photo of a life-saving demonstration shows another use for these kinds of boards, as a stable working surface for rescue work.
And the 1964 photo shows a lifeguard on a paddle board for even faster movement on water.
Canoes and Boats
The Quarry also did have boats, but not out in large numbers when the lake was full of swimmers.
One exception was during special events like this 1963 water show (with Dezzie Casey at the microphone). Besides the canoe, you also can see several rafts and a surfboard.
The 1965 photo also shows swimmers working with a capsized boat, albeit after the end of the swimming season.
Finally, inner tubes are a perennial favorite for relaxing in the water.
These photos, from 1969 and 50 years later in 2018, show tubing continued to be very popular.
The 1969 photo shows kids playing in tubes at what was then a shallow entrance area to the lake, and the 2018 photo shows stacks of tubes by the lifeguard stand.
And these 2020 photos show the quarry organized for social distancing, as Nancy and Jim Gypton kept it open during COVID, but required that people bring their own flotation equipment.
Thanks to the multiple contributors who provided these and other historic images of the development of the Quarry Swimming Club, especially the Lowe family and Nancy Kennedy.
We would welcome additional historic images and other materials related to the Hopewell Quarry.
More on the Hopewell Quarry and Swim Club
- Talk – Memories of the Hopewell Quarry: Stones to Swimming
- Video and References for the Hopewell Quarry Presentation
History / Posts
- The Founding of the Hopewell Quarry – history
- The Evolution of the Hopewell Quarry Swimming Hole – history in photos
- Hopewell Quarry Swim Club Photo Gallery – 150+ photos
- Hopewell Quarry Swim Club – Boats and Floats – in photos
- Quarry Swim Club Photos – 1950s and 60s
- 1940s Hopewell Videos – Hopewell Quarry Swim Club