Camp Dodge Swimming Pool

Camp Dodge Swimming Pool

Johnston, Polk County

Listed as endangered in 2004

Reason for designation

Built in the 1920s, the Camp Dodge Swimming Pool is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built to train soldiers for WW I, but the war ended before completion. It was opened to the public in 1922 and has operated continuously since. It is believed to be the world's largest outdoor filtered pool. Ronald Reagan spent many days there when he was a sportscaster in Des Moines in the 1930s. There is an oak tree that locals call the "Reagan Tree" because he parked his car there and courted the ladies under that tree. At the time of designation, assistance was needed to prevent the pool from being filled in, and plans were to remodel the bathhouse into a classroom/community center.

 
2004 Iowa's Most Endangered Properties item 5 of 9
 

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