Steps, at left, lead to Oronogo’s former swimming pool.

Ancestors, Legends & Time

There was swimming in historic Oronogo

Jeanne Newby

The Oronogo swimming pool was made from the basement of an old building. You can see the wooden stairs to get into the pool.

The recent purchase of a postcard: “Oronogo, Second Street looking south,” postmarked 1908, brings back memories of when the Oronogo swimming pool (basement of an old building) was farther south than the picture shows.

We would take a break from swimming and walk to the building on the right to buy some candy. We all know that today the post office is on the left, but in this photo, the post office is halfway down the block on the right. Today, none of the buildings on the right are still standing. What a nostalgic view. The second building on the right is the Joplin Hardware Co. The first building on the right is Lisch Drug Store.

Having been incorporated in 1876, Oronogo was 32 years old in this picture. Minersville (the previous name of Oronogo (established in 1848), was honored by being listed as the fourth town established in Jasper County. But there was a very destructive tornado in 1883 that wiped out a lot of the homes and stores of Oronogo, so many had to be rebuilt.

Oronogo has lots of history revolving around the mining industry.

Jeanne’s new book, “The Zinc City, Webb City, Missouri” is now available at Webb City Chamber Office.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.