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Memories of the Swimming Days at White Rock Lake are Kept Alive in Photography Exhibition

Growing Up Twins: Two Sides to Every Story (Photo courtesy of Paula Selzer)

Growing Up Twins: Two Sides to Every Story (Photo courtesy of Paula Selzer)

We Used to Swim Here
Bath House Cultural Center
July 10-November 20, 2010

Opening Reception with the Artists: Saturday, July 10, 2010, from 7-9 p.m.
Free and open to the public

The Bath House Cultural Center and the White Rock Lake Museum present We Used to Swim Here, an exhibition of historical photographs dating to the time when swimming was allowed at Dallas’ White Rock Lake. The exhibition will be on display at the White Rock Lake Museum (housed inside the Bath House Cultural Center) from July 10 to November 20, 2010.

An opening reception for the public will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2010 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.

About the Exhibition

The nickname used to describe White Rock Lake in the early part of the 20th Century as being “the people’s playground” still appears to be just as fitting today as it was back then. Nowadays, White Rock Lake is still considered one of the main scenic, recreational, and ecological jewels of Dallas that attracts many visitors each year. Since the damming of White Rock Creek and the subsequent forming of the Lake almost one hundred years ago, the natural setting of this destination has been considered a true oasis in the middle of the city.

From the forming of the lake and up until the 1950s, the lake became a major center of recreation as the City offered amenities that included a boathouse, a bath house, and a bathing beach. The availability of these facilities led to activities such as fishing, sail boating, camping, and swimming. The popular spot provided its scenic beauty, cooling breezes, and recreational opportunities to those who escaped their homes without air conditioning in search for a good time with their families and friends.

The exhibition We Used to Swim Here includes archival photographs that document the period of history of White Rock Lake when swimming was allowed. The images were compiled by the exhibition curator, Enrique Fernández Cervantes, from submissions that were turned in by lake area residents who browsed through old scrapbooks, photo albums and slide carrousels in order to locate photographs of family outings at the lake during that bygone era of Dallas. Grandparents picnicking by the Bath House, aunts wearing rented swimsuits, and other images of a joyful time, are part of this show that looks back at the past.

The main contributors to the exhibition include the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library, as well as longtime Dallas residents Nancy Cole, Judith Haralson Wolfe, Peggy Morgan, and Paula Selzer, whose short documentary film Growing Up Twins: Two Sides to Every Story features an interview with Adelyn Hancock and Carolyn Selzer describing their memories of swimming at White Rock Lake. A screening of Ms. Selzer’s documentary is scheduled for the Fall.

About the White Rock Lake Museum

The Bath House Cultural Center is the home of the White Rock Lake Museum. The museum’s mission is to preserve and present the human and natural history of White Rock Lake Park and its surrounding environment. The White Rock Lake Museum was inaugurated in September of 2004. Please visit the museum’s website at www.whiterocklakemuseum.org.

Please visit www.bathhousecultural.com for more information.

Growing Up Twins: Two Sides to Every Story (Photo courtesy of Paula Selzer)

Growing Up Twins: Two Sides to Every Story (Photo courtesy of Paula Selzer)

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One response to “Memories of the Swimming Days at White Rock Lake are Kept Alive in Photography Exhibition”

  1. Alisha says:

    Love it! Will be there.