Indianola's swimming pool was its pride.

At the time it was built, it was the largest in the state of Ohio. The pool measured a monstrous 140 feet wide by 238 feet long and held nearly 2 million gallons of water. The pool gradually increased in depth from 3 feet at the north end to 10 feet at the south end.

The pool was fed by artesian wells, making it chilly on even the warmest days.

On warm summer Sundays, 3,000 bathers might swim at the pool. Numbers as high as 7,000 in a day weren't unheard of.

Cleanliness was an important point at Indianola. The park advertised that its water was regularly tested and certified pure by Ohio State University chemists. It boasted that its pool water exceeded the State of Ohio's standard for drinking water. The manufacturer of the park's massive filtration system volunteered to drink a glass of water from the pool with 4,000 people in it to show his confidence in the water's purity.

Note the striped canvas tunnel extending to the pool at the left side of the postcard. This feature was added in the park's early years to allow ladies to exit the women's changing room and enter the water unobserved.

In that more repressed era, mixed bathing (men and women sharing a pool) was still considered scandalous by many and even the all-covering wool swimsuits of the era were held shameful and indecent. Most women were uncomfortable with the whole idea.

In the park's early days, in an attempt to redress the gender imbalance, management took to offering female patrons the princely sum of $2 ($43 in 2006 money) to swim in the pool for 20 minutes. Even so, there were few takers.

As late as 1915, Indianola was still struggling to lure female bathers to the pool. That summer, the park had twice weekly women-only swimming lessons with a female coach as a way to lure girls into the pool.

By the 1920s, mores had changed enough that the park had no more need of gimmicks to entice women to the pool.

In 1922, Indianola hired the first female lifeguard in the city.

Crowded pool
In the park's first few years, life guard duties were performed and swimming lessons were provided by The Aquatic Meiers Family. The gentlemen in the boat in the postcard above may be members of the Meiers family. The Aquatic Meiers Family also performed high dives and acrobatic water shows for park patrons a couple times a day.