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your thinking of lake martin which is about 40 miles north of montgomery. beautiful place to visit it has a state park WIND CREEK STATE PARK in alex city nice camping and swimming area. the lake has really suffered this year because of the drought. the lake is about 12 foot below its normal level which makes for bad recreation.
I used to go to Harrogate Springs in the summer of 53. My father was an RAF officer that was posted to Maxwell AFB and we had just come from Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. We always thought it was such a coincidence that this wonderful swimming "hole" was named after our home in England. I have such fond memories of swimming there and since I will be driving through Montgomery in about a month was hoping it was still there. That is why I "googled" it and found your posts. So disappointed it was torn down. Such is life.
Judy in Florida
Old Kiby Prison was located on Federal (Congressman Dickinson) across from the Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base (formerly Gunter Air Force Base, Gunter Air Field, and originally Montgomery Municipal Airport). I believe there is a historical marker along Alabama River Parkway (less than a mile north of of North Boulevard) about Harrogate Springs. I'll see if I can get a photo.
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunter_Air_Force_Base]Gunter Air Force Base - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/url]
Photos of Old Kilby Prison (circa 1981) by c.bridges on pbase:
[url=http://www.pbase.com/chb/image/5115728]Old Kilby Prison Stairway photo - C. Bridges photos at pbase.com[/url]
[url=http://www.pbase.com/chb/image/5115727]Old Kilby Prison Guard Tower photo - C. Bridges photos at pbase.com[/url]
Location of Old Kilby Prison on wikimapia:
[url=http://wikimapia.org/2435319/Site_of_the_Old_Kilby_Prison]Site of the Old Kilby Prison[/url]
If anyone remembers the exact location of Harrogate Springs (or anything else) please mark them in wikimapia. It allows anyone to add locations and annotations on top of Google Maps.
Sorry nobody has answered you. We had a pool like that in Trinity, in North Alabama...closed many MANY years now. Kilby prison is near Atmore which is a good bit south/southwest of Montgomery. You may need to search closer to that area. Good luck!
Kilby prison is in Montgomery off Wares Ferry Rd., you must have visited a different cell
Having read numerous posts regarding Harrogate Springs, I will venture some comments. First, despite several earlier posts, the Springs and their swimming pool are still there as of April, 2008.
Yes, the water is incredibly cold. The Crommelin family, which has owned the land for generations, built warming pools where the water could be warmed by the sun as it flowed down the hill from the actual spring through a wooden trough into the large swimming pool. If you believe that the water was very cold, think of what it would have been without the warming pools. The final wooden trough that brought the water to the pool is about 8 feet above the water level in the pool, forming a pretty waterfall as the water plunged into the pool.
The pool is not, as reported by someone else, painted black, it is plain old "swimming pool" blue, although quite dirty and bleached by years in the sun. Still standing is a small wooden shack where people paid the fee to swim. The charge for various ages and types of usage is still on the west side of the schack.
The actual spring, Harrogat Springs, is up the hill a few hundred feet to the right (east south east) of the eastern end of Ft. Toulouse Road, east of the Montgomery-Wetumpka Highway. Several people wrote posts about the spring's proximity to Tutwiller women's prison (still there, northeast of Wetumpka) and Kilby men's prison (now demolished). The Springs are technically in Wetumpka, but only slightly closer to Tutwiler Prison (northeast of Wetumpka) than to Kilby prison (which was on the northeast side of Montgomery), not in Atmore, Alabama. Kilby prison was east and slightly north of the current location of the Alabama Coliseum on Federal Boulevard.
The Harrogate Springs pool was open to the public, but no longer. It is in the backyard of a current member of the Crommelin family, who still have an attractive old home just west of the pool. Harrogate Springs Road now runs across uphill from the spring, which still exists.
Interestingly, the springs are located on the western rim of the fairly-well-known Wetumpka meteor impact crater, which geologists say was the result of a meteor 81 million years ago. The largest and highest portion of the crater remains today is directly north of Harrogate Springs.
WoW.. great info.. Do you think they would let those of us who use to go swimming there many years ago drop by and go for a short swim?
I was just a kid when I went there but it is one thing I have never forgotten. Too bad so many kids today won't have the opportunity to go for a swim in something so unique.
My grandmother lived in Montgomery so that is probably why I remember going by Kilby prison on the way to the springs. I don't remember the meteor, that was just a little before my time..although I think it would be interesting to see it now a days
Thanks again.. really interesting info. Hope you will come back for a visit to CD. We don't have too many ppl from Montgomery area on the forum.
You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. Robert Louis Stevenson
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Many (OK many) years ago, I remember my grandmother taking me to a swimming pool that had a tube running into it from the natural spring. I remember the water being ice cold. It seems like we drove a ways and if I am not mistaken we use to go by Kilby prison. I could be wrong about the prison as it was a long, long, long, long time ago.
Does anyone here know the name of that place and does is it still around?
That would probably be Willow Springs or Harrowgate Springs, both defunct. There were just out side Wetumpka off US231
Thanks Thorton for this news about Harrogate Springs. I grew up in Chisholm in the 60's and 70's and always looked forward to trips to go swimming there. On Mother's day this year my brother and sisters tried looking for it along Harrogate Springs Road (we met at Jasmine Hills) and just assumed it was torn down. We also went to Willow Springs a few times but Harrogate was much better. Every time I hear Gordan Lightfoot sonds it reminds me of Harrogate Springs and hot summer days in Alabama. I also remember driving by Kilby Prison and seeing guards with shotguns on horseback. I believe they filmed the movie "The Executioners Song" there when they blew it up. Interesting about the meteor crater. Does anyone know if Willow Springs is still around?
As stated by others, Thorton had the most accurate description. I remember many a summer day spent at Harrogate Springs -- the skating rink was closed as was the dance pavilion when I was a child but my mother fondly recalled many evenings there. When I was growing up, there were some small cabins and a little store there, run by the Crommelin family, near the pool. What a wonderful place, as long as you didn't slip on the side of the pool -- sure was slippery! Unfortunately, places like Harrogate Springs fell by the wayside as families lived further from their homeplaces over the years. I hope the Crommelin family still enjoys the property and knows what a place they had in the hearts of so many over the decades. We lived in Prattville so it was quite an adventure to make a day of a trip to Harrogate Springs.
One more thing on Harrogate Springs -- I have been trying to locate photos of Harrogate Springs -- if anyone knows of some, please email me - my mother would treasure some photos, as would everyone in my family!
Last edited by Keeper; 07-24-2008 at 05:56 PM..
Reason: removed email address
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