Pensacola Politics

Who remembers the swimming pool at Bruce Beach

October 30, 2017

Inweekly is interested in talking to people who remember the “colored” swimming pool at Bruce Beach. If you look at the construction documents closely -slightly right of the center, you can see the note regarding an abandoned concrete swimming pool on the edge of the mitigation area.

I spoke with Commissioner Lumon May who said his father led the fight to close and fill in the pool after several African-Americans drowned at the city facility.

If you remember the pool and have any details about the drownings at the facility, please email me at

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1 Comment

  • Reply Maxie Watson October 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    I remember the “Pool”. I used to go every day in the 1950’s. During summer vacation that was the place to be if you were black. It was a small pool but we thought it was the greatest Pool in the world. We had Life Guards Neal Shelby,Sol Surles, Tommy Crumpton and Mrs. Gilda Mavery taught swimming. Neal Shelby became the first person to swim 🏊🏾 Pensacola Bay from one side to the other. Big write up in the News Journal. As for the drownings the best I remember is that before the Pool officially opened the pool had water in it and some kids illegally jumped the fence for a swim and someone drowned. About 30 yards from the Pool was part of Pensacola Bay we called Bruce Beach. It was not a Beach of course but before the Pool some people would swim there. After 3 steps into the water it would suddenly drop off to over your head. Some kids did drown there and our Parents warned us to stay away but kids being kids we had to try it. There were prominent signs that stated the water was polluted. That’s about it.

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