Photo courtesy Maricopa Historical Society

During a long, hot summer, finding ways to keep cool has always been a priority in Maricopa. Swimming is a big temptation, but in the 1950s the only swimming opportunities were illicit ones in irrigation canals and ditches.

The fledgling Rotary Club decided in 1956 the community needed a swimming pool. As the late Don Pearce recalled to InMaricopa last year, “Too many kids were drowning or getting hurt.” So, Rotarians John Smith and Fred Enke donated 3.5 acres along Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway for a pool and a park. Cost of building a pool had been estimated at $50,000, but Rotarians and local businesses donated enough in resources and labor to cut that to just over $24,000. The Rotary Club started the annual Stagecoach Days to help fund the pool. Smith and Enke took out loans to cover much of the rest of the expenses.

The pool opened in 1958. A year later, Pearce moved to town. He maintained the pool until it was closed in 2014. With the opening of Copper Sky, the Rotary pool became obsolete for most Maricopans. Roadwork connected to the coming overpass took away most of the park grounds at the site, and Stagecoach Days has mostly faded away. But the memory remains of community generosity and hard work to create a vital part of Maricopa summers for nearly 60 years.