During World War II, the Churchs’ United Service Committee wrote a series of letters to Norwich men. This is part of a six-page letter written to Norwich soldiers away at war. It began “with 111 stars on the service flag in Tracy Hall & more men leaving for induction all the time, Norwich is seeming pretty empty these days.” The letter went on to provide updates on men in the service and then notes of home which included stories about errant farm animals, the autumn hunt, and the flooding of Tigertown Road by beavers from Beaver Meadow.

The big story was the opening of the Norwich Pool. It was located on 7 acres of land adjacent to the Charles Brown Brook and purchased by the Norwich Development Association for $1. The plan was for the overflow of the Norwich Water Company’s reservoir to fill the pool.

The pool had a wading area, a dock with a platform, and dressing rooms nearby. There was also a jungle gym for the younger kids, arts and crafts, horseshoes, and volleyball. Virginia “GeGe” Boorup was the swim instructor and supervisor of the pool.

The dedication included a sing-a-long accompanied by Fred Metcalf who brought his organ down on the back of a truck (the organ is now at NHS).

There were some years when the flow of Charles Brown Brook decreased, which meant water didn’t spill over the dam, and the pool became stagnant. To remedy this, a 75 foot deep artesian well was drilled to keep the water moving. The pool also faced structural issues over the years. Storm damage and leaks made for expensive repairs.

The pool was well-loved. People liked the fact that the road to the pool, barely wide enough for a car, was unmarked. It was a summer secret where school kids on bikes or families with small children could picnic, wade in the shallows, dive in the deep end and swim in water that was warm on the surface but chilly at the toes.

In 2011 Hurricane Irene severely damaged the dam, drained the pool, and washed away the dock. The Norwich Pool was ruined and not reopened.

Letter narrated by Judy Brown, Thank you!