HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Fassnight Park Swimming Pool
Fassnight Park Swimming Pool. The postcard is a drawing of Fassnight Pool as it looked when the pool was opened in 1927. Note the waterfall of spring water falling from the tiered fountain at the back of the pool.
Fassnight Park is located at Meadowmere Street between Campbell and Grant Avenues. It contains 28 acres of land with trees and a stream. The Springfield Park Board purchased the land in 1924 from Conrad and Emma Fassnight, who had traveled to Springfield with their parents from Michigan in 1886. The foreman of the Fassnight Park project was Godfrey Messerli. He was greatly skilled as a stonemason and created bridges, the bathhouse, the swimming pool and other structures using the fieldstone and Carthage stone found in the area. The labor was done by the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.).
In 1977 the entire park, including the swimming pool, had deteriorated because of erosion and the fact that the intricate stonemason's work was prohibitively expensive to repair. The pool was closed and the city considering demolishing the swimming pool and bathhouse and replacing them with new state-of-the-art facilities. In the end the city decided to renovate the pool and bathhouse and preserve their unique architecture. This may have been when the waterfall in the pool was removed.
In 1995 a $60,000 water slide was added to Fassnight Pool. It was intended to be a moneymaking venture, with its $3 (later $5) fee helping to fund the swimming pool. An extended pool deck including playground equipment inside the pool area was added later. In 1996 a hard-rubber water serpent was added to the pool. It was tethered to the floor of the shallow end.
Fassnight Park has one of Springfield's most popular pools. The Springfield-Greene County Park Board renovated Fassnight Pool in 2009, and it remains the largest pool in the parks system today.