Round Pond in the mid-1900s, when it was available for town recreation area use …

That was when the Lions Club had assumed responsibilities for the area, and the swimming, fishing and picnicking were good.  

The kids of Amenia, at least, had a chance to swim in their town, plus learn how to do so. There were ultimately a changing area, a sand beach and a diving raft. There was also a picnic area. The recreation program transported residents by bus while others drove and parked there. 

There was usually a Lions Club member there to greet you. I remember Bob Sullivan, especially, who, by the way, played baseball for Amenia and other county teams in the days of the Interstate League. He was good, and was inducted into the Dutchess County Hall of Fame in 1985.

Joe Poillucci, in his book, “Baseball in Dutchess County” (cr. 2000, Rutledge Books, Conn.), mentions him quite often. Bob spent a lot of time volunteering at the park, as did Wayne Euvrard and other Lions Club members. 

I stopped to see Wayne and talk to him about the pond. He said he helped take care of the beach and grounds and that John Segalla brought in new sand every year. 

It was owned by Leo McEnroe Sr., and when Wayne checked with Barbara McEnroe later, she said it was opened in 1962. 

What brought it to closure were the Canada geese who took up residency there. They soiled the water and the health department ultimately had to order it closed. But it was a good spot for over a decade. Thanks, Wayne!

Round Pond is on Sharon Station Road heading toward Connecticut, beyond the Harlem Valley Rail Trail (formerly the train tracks). I found it on an old 1850 map and many others to follow. It’s big, and you can especially see part of it as you drive along the road — east and west — beyond the present horse farm. 

My oldest daughter, Joyce, remembers well going there in the 1960s and learning how to swim. It was weedy and the bottom was “mucky” and when they jumped off the raft into the water she said the kids told each other, “don’t get stuck in the muck.” 

She went on the bus with the town recreation program. And many times we went as a family and brought supper. It was a great place in those days, and learning to swim was important. 

In the early 1970s, another daughter, Joan, was a lifeguard there. 

And during the whole time you could see the cows getting a drink further up from the beach and taking a look at all of the action — Oh, my!                                   

Swimming was taught by the Red Cross in those years. The July 28, 1966 Harlem Valley Times printed the following: “A record 119 children have participated in the American Red Cross swimming instruction program at the Lions Club Pool.  The lesson ends on July 29.  Next week there will be recreation on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and swimming Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Don’t get stuck in the muck.”

Arlene Iuliano is the Amenia town historian.