Public Bathing

by Laurel | July 31st, 2009

July 31, 1892, page 2

The great army of the unwashed in its attempt at bathing is not only refreshing as a sight but it is incorrigible as a force. An attempt or to has been made lately to compel the populace to comply where between A and Z with the letter of the law in regard to bathing in public, but it has been as impossible really to accomplish this as it seems to be just now to enforce the liquor laws. For Holyoke actually wants water externally as much as she wants rum internally. There must be enough of it whatever the quality is or whether put to a good use or not. The city council has for half a decade made at least one attempt a year to provide for a public bath-house, which is really the only thing that will make it possible to keep the population up to its normal numbers and decency. The location which the city council last rejected was at Winkler’s grove, a little above the South Holyoke ferry. It is not near the center of the city nor is it visited by many besides those living in ward 3, while the place is much more free from the notice of people passing that other places where swimming is a more popular pastime. So it is hardly a desirable site compared with some others. Not a summer passes that there are not several people drowned in the river above the dam, and one of the city’s greatest needs is a place where Holyoke’s noted craving for cleanliness can be satisfied without endangering life or shocking propriety. It is sure to come some day and public opinion is growing so evidently in that direction that in the course of years the city fathers will be unable to resist its importunity.

Excerpt from The Springfield Republican.

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