My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Fancher Swimming Pool

Allegany State Park – History Flashback

Fancher Pool

The historic Fancher swimming pool was first opened to the public during the summer of 1926, which measured 40 x 100 feet.

Fancher Pool

During the spring of 1934 the Fancher pool was replaced by a larger concrete pool (50’ x 100’) built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The funding for the new pool came from the late Senator Albert T. Fancher who passed away on the 30th of July 1930. Senator Fancher was one of the main people who helped develop the park in the early 1920’s.

Fancher Pool

This pool is always remember by its freezing cold temperatures, its size and socializing destination point for many of the campers, locals and employees. The picture below is just one of the numerous post cards which focused on people swimming in the Fancher pool.

Fancher Pool Post Card

I have been told that some of the reasons the beach was closed was due to a newer beach being developed over on Quaker Lake, failure to be able to repair cracks and that the park couldn’t keep water in it fast enough. It was last used Labor Day weekend in September 1981. It was finally demolished and filled up with gravel during September 1985. This pool is the currently location of the Fancher Bath House over on the Quaker Side of Allegany State Park, NY.

Fancher Pool

If you remember swimming in this pool, please feel free to add comments about some of your memories. I will be adding posts from time to time on Allegany State Park’s historic flashbacks. These are historic pictures from Allegany State Park’s archives (I do not know the dates of these pictures).

18 responses

  1. Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool! Did I mention this is very cool! History and old photos – right up my alley!
    Was the pool water always really cold even in the middle of summer?
    Looking forward to your next history / photo post!
    P.S. Did you know that one of my part time jobs is working with old photos and putting them into an online database for people to order? I *love* *love* *love* old photos and postcards!!!

    12 January 2007 at 7:20 pm

  2. Thanks Nature Woman! The water was filled with spring water directly out of the ground (and VERY COLD)! That is what I always hear about everyone’s memories of the pool! Thanks for loving this!

    12 January 2007 at 9:27 pm

  3. You’re welcome Mon@rch! I would think that would have been theurapeutic going from hot sunshine to very cold water to hot sunshine. Was there any known theurapeutic value of the spring water itself (a la Saratoga Springs)?

    12 January 2007 at 9:37 pm

  4. This was a great post. I’ll be looking forward to history lessons in the future!

    13 January 2007 at 8:54 am

  5. Brr, theurapeutic or not, still cold! brrr! LOL!
    Thanks Jeremy – Will have to think which one to post next.

    13 January 2007 at 11:41 am

  6. The photographer in the early days was fantastic to capture those photos! There is a pool in Baltimore called “Riverside” that reminds me of this one, but it was located near the center of the city. For many years its concrete base leaked and I am now wondering what became of it. This is great! Swimming pools (indoor and outdoor) have been my second home for at least 12 years through my daughter’s sport. I’ve never known a pool to be spring-fed, though. Interesting.

    13 January 2007 at 3:27 pm

  7. Mary – We had a bunch of pictures of this pool and had a hard time trying to decide which ones to use. Sounds like your Riverside was a wonderful hangout for everyone when you were younger! I think swimming is a wonderful sport for children! I guess back in the 20’s they needed some way to fill up the pool! Currently today all of our water in the park is spring fed but today it all is treated in reservoirs, ect..unlike back then!

    13 January 2007 at 10:28 pm

  8. Rick

    looks like a fun pool to be swimming in. thanks for the history lesson.

    13 January 2007 at 11:49 pm

  9. Thanks for visiting Rick! I agree, looks like all kinds of fun there!

    15 January 2007 at 12:03 am

  10. Carol Dombrowski

    Boy! Do I remember this pool, and yes, it was cold.
    I went to Camp Go-Ha-Do-Goh just down the road and we had swimming lessons there every morning, free swim in the afternoon. My girlfriend, Lois, used to dive from the board and did beautiful jackknifes into the pool.
    One girl from our camp, Sheila Gill, nearly drowned one morning, and although she was a good swimmer, perhaps it was the cold temperature that troubled her that day.

    24 June 2008 at 7:55 am

    • Kate Lauderbaugh

      I also remember the pool from my days at Camp Go-Ha-Do-Goh. Is that still there? I have a daughter ready for sleep away camp!

      27 August 2009 at 6:53 pm

      • Gretchen Rusch Steingrandt

        I was a Camper at Go Ha Do Goh from 1948 until 1955. At the age of 15 I was a CIT(dishwasher!), and was then a Camp Counselor during college years at Northwestern.

        About four years ago my husband and I found the site of my beloved Camp, which no longer exists. Does anyone else have great Go Ha Do Goh memories? The York Family, who were the Camp Directors?

        All my memories are treasured, including days off spent in Bradford, PA, as well as the Buffalo Area. And oh, those summer nights in Allegany State Park!!

        30 July 2010 at 7:55 pm

  11. Cheryl Gaskill

    Go-ha-do-goh closed in 1978 and was torn down in the mid 80s. Was down in Allegany yesterday ~ a few brown/tan cabins and the creek! What a shame 😦

    8 August 2010 at 11:22 am

    • Karen Williams

      I was a camper at Camp Go-Ha-Do-Goh too for several summers, along with my sister, Martha. It is so sad that the camp is gone. I’m still in touch with Carol York, who lives in Snyder, NY.

      2 September 2012 at 10:43 pm

      • Marla Coulton Cron

        I was a camper at Camp Go Ha Do Goh during the summers of 1972 and 1973. Great memories! ” I wanna be– I wanna be– I wanna be way down at Go Ha Do Goh, where the swims come round two times a day, and boy at night how we hit that hay….

        21 November 2013 at 12:24 am

  12. Brenda Roughgarden

    Thanks for the pictures of Fancher Pool. I went to Camp Go-Ha-Do-Goh from the late 40s to early 50s. We swam in that pool. I have been trying to find info about the camp and have learned from one of the responses that it no longer exists. How sad. It was a great camp in a great place. I learned to swim in that pool.

    29 March 2011 at 9:00 pm

    • Lisa Lenz Bianchi

      I also recall swimming in the cold waters of this pool twice a day during the mid to late 60s. I loved my summers at Camp Go-Ha-Do-Goh and was sad to hear that it had closed. Names that I recall from other campers… Ginger Kerwin, Sue Worthington… Lots of us went back for several summers. Does anyone know why the camp closed?

      I recall that one of our counselors had the last name Cuddeback, the same name as my maternal grandmother. Now that know something about family history, I would love to contact her.

      30 August 2011 at 7:07 pm

  13. Very interesting blog, keep up the good work.

    28 February 2012 at 10:51 am

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