Sunday, October 29, 2006

Victoria Pool in the 1940's

Victoria Pool was originally called the Recreation Center, Pool in the Pines and then Spa Pool. In the 1960's when the Peerless Pool comlex was build the name was changed again to Victoria Pool. Myth has it was so named after Queen Victoria of England since Saratoga Spa State Park has always been known as the Queen of Spas.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

King Stanton

Our king Stanton wishes he could reign over his pool for summer's last weekend

Wish we were all enjoying our beautiful pool this weekend

Save the Victoria Pool Society wishes all a happy last weekend of summer. It is going to be a sunny 80 degree weekend.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Save the Victoria Pool Society urges May through September Pool Dates

New schedule for Victoria Pool urged Earlier opening and later closing at renovated facility is recommended
BY LEE COLEMAN Gazette Reporter

Reach Gazette reporter Lee Coleman at 587-1780 or at

On the day that the Save The Victoria Pool Society crowned its first King of the Victoria Pool it also urged the state to open the pool earlier in the year and keep it open on weekends in September.
The Victoria Pool in the Saratoga Spa State Park closed for the season on Monday.
Stanton Williamson, 73, a Saratoga Springs native and frequent patron of the Victoria Pool, was crowned King of the Pool on Monday afternoon.
Williamson said he has been coming to the Victoria Pool for more than 50 years.
"I come to the pool at least four times a week," Williamson said. "It depends on the weather."
The society was instrumental in persuading the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to spend $1.5 million two years ago to renovate the pool, which was built in the late 1930s.
Louise Goldstein and Andrew M. Jennings, co-founders of the society, want the state to open the popular pool on Memorial Day and keep it open on weekends, at least, through September.
The upscale pool attracts members of the New York City Ballet, as well as visiting movie stars and dignitaries during the summer months.
Goldstein said for many years the Victoria was opened on May 31 rather than in late June as was the case in recent years.
Warren Holliday, director of the Saratoga-Capital District Region of the state park system, said Tuesday that in the recent past the Victoria and Peerless pools in the park have always opened at the end of June, the first weekend after school lets out for the summer.
But now that construction on the Victoria pool has been completed, the state will open the pool on Memorial Day in 2007, he said.
Because colleges end their spring semesters earlier than in the past, Holliday said the park can fi nd and hire lifeguards by Memorial Day. However, in the case of keeping the Victoria Pool open in September, the opposite is true.
"We canvassed the life guards and they will all be back in college," Holliday said. "We couldn 't get anyone."
Holliday said the past two years the pool was kept open in September because time earlier in the year was lost because of renovation construction.
The combination of cool weather and poor attendance numbers persuaded parks officials to close the pool after Labor Day.
Holliday said when the pool was open in September there was "extremely poor attendance."
"We lost money," Holliday said about keeping the pool open in September.
Goldstein and Jennings said they have talked to some lifeguards and these lifeguards are willing to work through September, if the state decided to keep the pool open through the month.
"We will get warm weather again," Goldstein said about the weather. No one was swimming on Monday because the weather was cool and overcast.
About 14 of the 17 Save the Victoria Pool Society members scheduled a small surprise party for Williamson at pool side.
"Back in the 1940s it was beautiful," Williamson said about how the pool looked when he was a young man.
Williamson was an employee of the Saratoga Men 's Shop, located on Broadway many years ago, and more recently the Regent Street Antique Center.
He is a founding member of the three-year-old Save The Victoria Pool Society.
"It was run very strictly," he said. He said the lifeguards would periodically get everyone out of the pool for "rest periods" back in the 40s and early 50s.
"You couldn 't run," Williamson said about the regulations during those days.
He said he is very pleased with the way the pool renovation came out.
"It 's just a wonderful place to come to," Williamson said.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day luncheon of Save the Victoria Pool Society ends the 2006 Season with a Coronation

"King"Stanton Williamson, Board Member of the Save the Victoria Pool Society had an "official" Coronation at the annual Labor Day closing Luncheon at the Victoria Pool today. A "proclamation" by Warren Holliday, Regional Director of NYS Parks was presented to "King" Stanton by Co-Founders of the Victoria Pool Society, Andrew Jennings and Louise Goldstein. Over 30 people were in attendance including 11 Board Members of the Society.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Victoria Pool is crystal sparkling clear thanks to a very dedicated pool staff

Save The Victoria Pool Society will miss Stephanie who has worked so hard to keep our pool in tip top shape this summer. She is the greatest.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hail to the Navy, volunteers rehab benches in Park

Navy volunteers renovate park benches
Personnel from Kesselring site in Milton repair Depression-era seats for Spa park lawn

By KENNETH C. CROWE II, Staff writer Click byline for more stories by writer. First published: Thursday, July 27, 2006
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- U.S Navy volunteers resurrected some Saratoga Spa State Park history, reaching into the park's boneyard to pluck out some forgotten infrastructure.
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The concrete benches that the Works Progress Administration built during the Great Depression are back on the park's great lawn.
"All we're trying to do is show the public the community participation of the Navy," said Lt. Cmdr. Tom Prusinowski.
Prusinowski led a team of about 20 sailors from the nuclear propulsion training unit at the Kenneth A. Kesselring Site in West Milton to the park last week. About 1,200 naval personnel are stationed at the site. They live throughout Saratoga County.
"The old concrete ends are coming back from the boneyard," Prusinowski said.
The sailors took the concrete bench ends from the boneyard, as the park's maintenance yard is nicknamed.
First Class Machinist Mate Dan Matherly took charge of getting the wood for the benches and fitting them together with the concrete end pieces. The benches weigh about 225 pounds each.
Matherly drove to Schroon Lake to get the lumber. It's all about getting the right pieces, he said.
"We're doing a bench every 20 minutes. We're hitting full stride," Matherly said.
The team replaced 20 benches. They were placed on the great lawn around the park's reflecting pool and the nearby open area.
"It's a wonderful piece of community service. We're very appreciative of it," said Warren Holliday, the Saratoga-Capital District Region director for the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
"They use the park, they saw the need. They responded to it through a good volunteer effort," Holliday said.
Prusinowski noticed the park's need for new benches while working out at the park as a member of the Saratoga Stryders running club. The club donated money for supplies, the Navy donated the skills and staff and the park provided the bench parts to pull the project together.
"I'm in the park every day," Prusinowski said. As a result, the lieutenant commander knows that many people in the county are unaware that the Navy has a base in the area where sailors are trained to run nuclear ships and submarines.
"The Navy cares about Saratoga," Prusinowski said. "We're here and we want to give back to the community."
Kenneth C. Crowe II can be reached at 581-8438 or by e-mail at

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2006, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2006, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Scores of people await opening from 8 A.M.

Scores of sun seekers awaiting 10 A.M. opening of Victoria Pool on a perfect Sunday, July 16, 2006. The line stretched from the parking lot to the front door and went on all day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006 at Victoria Pool

Over 700 men, women and children enjoyed a perfect Sunday at the beautiful Victoria Pool with its spotless clear blue water. The temperature was in the mid-nineties and hardly a cloud in the sky. All the chairs and lounge were occupied by 10:15 A.M. and capacity was reached at 11:45A. M.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Stanton's annual Bastille Day Birthday Bash at Victoria Pool 2006

Save The Victoria Pool Society celebrates dear Stanton's birthday on July 14, 2006. Barbara Proctor, Louise Goldstein, Bobby Rapp, Andrew Jennings, Stanton Williamson, Paul Kaczmarek, Anita Turner and Carole Leader.

Monday, July 10, 2006

July 10, 2006, Pool Restaurant & locker room report

Catherine's restaurant at the Victoria Pool is improved this year with a more extensive and tastier menu than the last few years. The outside bar is back and a great place to meet and greet your friends. The prices are reasonable and the service can be slow on busy days so go for lunch early and often. The locker rooms and the entire pool area is MUCH cleaner than the last fews years. Lockers, bike racks, and a hair dryer outlet and more mirrors and counters have been added to the ladies locker room we are happy to report. Hooks have finally been installed outside each shower and we are anxiously awaiting soap dishes in the showers. The flowers get more magnificent every day and we are once again the Most Beautiful Pool in America.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The BLUE is BACK! July 7, 2006

Save The Victoria Pool Society is very grateful to the entire dedicated staff of Saratoga Spa State Park for bringing the blue back to our beloved pool.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Bulletin: The crystal clear blue Victoria Pool is BACK!!!

The amazingly dedicated and hard-working Staff of Saratoga Spa State Park and the Victoria Pool have restored the pool back to its original glory. Special and unending thanks go to our miracle worker, Mark, the wonderful John, Phil, the beautiful Stephanie, Dave and Al who solved the problems that persisted since the new filter system was installed last year. As always, we are grateful to our fearless leader, Regional Director, Warren Holliday. Tip your hat to the staff at the Pool while you are splashing in its beautiful blue waters.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Victoria Pool water much better June 30, 2006

Thanks to the wonderful Saratoga Spa Park STAFF the water is vastly better. Our persistence didn't hurt.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006

Glens Falls Post Star, June 19, 2006

Spa State Park pools open Saturday
Monday, June 19, 2006 6:49 AM EDT
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The Victoria and Peerless pools at Saratoga Spa State Park officially will open to the public starting Saturday.The Victoria Pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.Admission fees are $6 for adults and $3 for children. Children younger than age 5 will be admitted free to both pools.The Peerless Pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends.The fee is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children between the ages of 5 and 12.
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Friday, June 16, 2006

Does anyone have any helpful suggestions for what is causing the green water and how to get rid of it? It is not algae.
Now Saratoga Spa State Park is saying they probably will not open the Victoria Pool until 6/24/06. Down whose drain has the $1.5 million gone?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

may 24, 2006 victoria pool update

Pool update coming soon. Lots of work yet to be done, to date pool is not even painted and we are starting to get concerned that opening will be delayed again this year. Watch this Blog as we may need your help.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Victoria Pool Season Passes Available

Prices: Adults 12 and Up $175.00
Child 5-11 $85.00
under 5 for free

How to Purchase a season pass:
The season pass can be purchased at the Administration Building located at the Saratoga Spa State Park between the hours of 9AM-4PM seven days a week. A photo ID is required for the purchase of the Season Pool Pass. To produce a picture ID, you must provide a recent photo that is approximately 1" x 1.25". The photo will be laminated onto the season pass for both adults and children allowing only that patron access to the Victoria Pool.
The replacement cost for the season pass is $25 contingent on the verification of proof of purchase. Saratoga Spa State Park accepts credit cards, checks and cash.

The passes do not include Peerless Pool or Park admission. They are valid 7 days a week.
No refunds for any unforeseen circumstances resulting in closing of the pool.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Thoughts on Victoria Pool by Jill Wing, Saratogian

Speaking of staying cool, I went with a friend on one of those really hot days to Victoria Pool, to check on its progress. The pool is being completely renovated, and it is rumored that the water will be heated. While it seems that might extend the season into September, a month more of summer at the pool is a high price to pay. Victoria Pool's excruciatingly cold water is one of its attractions. I know that may sound slightly insane -- that plunging into a chlorine Slushie would be such a big draw. But none of my pool buddies are happy about the prospect of heated water.It's a little hard to explain. The big question when you go to the pool is are you going in the water. It is such a big deal that, when you get off your lounge to take the plunge, you announce your impending dip into the icy waters to all within earshot. It's like a kid who insists his parents watch his every splash in a display of courage and innovation. So, you swing your legs over the side of the lounge, take a few deep breaths to prepare for the big one that will deplete your lungs on impact and announce, 'I'm going in.' Then your poolside audience will marvel at your bravery and ask, before you can catch your breath after surfacing, 'Is it cold?'I have been surprised that, over the years, more people haven't suffered some sort of cardiac event when they enter the water at Victoria Pool. On the other hand, it might work as an emersion defibrillator, a way to jumpstart a failing heart. Heating Victoria Pool is a bad idea. I guess we'll have to wait until June, when the pool finally opens, to see if we can keep our cold feet.
Jill Wing is a feature writer at The Saratogian. Wingin' It is published alternating Sundays in the Life section.

Restoration bricklayer sprucing up arches at Victoria Pool, April 5, 2006

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Little Victoria Pool History

History of the Victoria Pool: When the Victoria Pool, known originally as the Spa Pool, opened July 26, 1935 at 6:30 P. M. it was the northermost outdoor swimming pool in America to be so built. It was one of only two heated outdoor pools in existence at that time in the United States and boasted an innovative cleaning system that changed and filtered the water three times every 24 hours. Another unusual feature was underwater illumination, making swimming at night in the glow of submarine lights a unique activity. How many public pools have chandeliered entrance foyers? Two sculpted lion's heads that once spouted the spa's mineral waters in a fountain are evident on walls of the surrounding courtyard. And the words "Bath House" inscribed over the entrance are indicative of the pool's timelessness. Some say the "Vic" is addictive. Like the characters in the movie "Cocoon", discovered about their pool, there is something magical about the Victoria, enduring and restorative. The "Vic" is as much a place to be, as it is a place to swim. Many bathers just come to soak up the sun, and experience the old style charm of this jewel in the crown of the Spa State Park. From Poor Richard's Journal, June 1993 by Jill Wing

Victoria Pool, evening, 2005