Community Is Diving Into Pool Restoration

Cameron Recreational Park will host the Cameron Jamfest on Sunday to boost efforts to restore a city landmark.

From 12:30- 7:30 p.m. the event will feature live entertainment. Local band ReFinished will be performing, as well as Nashville singer/song writer Cliff Cody and CMT Next Superstar winner Matt Mason.

“It’s a major fundraiser to get the historic pool back up and running for the people of the Cameron area,” said Mayor Julie Beresford.

The pool opened in 1939 featuring a semicircular shape, a sanded beach section for sunbathing and diving boards in the middle of the pool rather than at the end. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993, and it remains the first – and, according to Beresford, possibly last – of its kind.

“Anybody that grew up here it is very important to,” said Beresford. “We all grew up here years ago. It was the meeting place. It opened up for swimming at 1 p.m., and every kid lived for 1 p.m. Now we are trying to invest in a positive for our children and the future. We are severely limited on what we have to offer our kids.”

Beresford noted the pool has been shut down for almost four years because its filtration system was antiquated.

“Basically, the issue is the inflow/outflow and we’re redoing all that,” said Beresford. “When we get done, it will be beautiful.”

According to Beresford, a large amount of the work is being done by volunteers.

“We’ve estimated $7,500 to $10,000 in free labor,” Beresford said. “That ought to tell you that people want it.”

Beresford took over as mayor of Cameron on July 1. Within the first two weeks of that month, she said, work had begun on restoring the pool – and it has been ongoing every weekend since. The people of Cameron are hoping to have the work finished and the pool opened by Memorial Day.

“It has been wonderful to see the community response,” the mayor added.

Among the biggest accomplishments Beresford mentioned was the installation of a new roof on the changing and shower room building. She also said that help is coming from all over the country in the form of financial assistance for the project. She estimated the community has received up to $25,000 in donations and noted money is still coming in.

The purpose of the Cameron Jamfest, according to Beresford, is to raise funds for the project while also providing quality entertainment. Among places selling tickets are the Cameron City Building and Wheeling Central Catholic, Wheeling Park and Bishop Donahue high schools.

“We are inviting everyone to enjoy,” said Beresford. “The nostalgia of the community needs to be protected. That’s who you are and where you come from. It’s a neat, eccentric little place – it just needs a little TLC.”