Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock

The Brea Plunge

8 years ago by in ( Welcome to Brea )
The Brea Plunge, shortly after opening in 1930

As part of a larger vision for the city by early Breans, the Brea Plunge was included in the original plans for City Hall Park.  $75,000, of which $60,000 was secured through a voter approved Bond issue in 1922, enabled the acquisition of the land from the Union Oil Company.  The Plunge was seen as a focal point of the park, an area where family and friends could gather and cool off on hot summer days.

Construction of the Plunge, and its changing rooms, started soon after the opening of the new City Hall Building, in 1929, with the pool opening to a grateful public the following summer.

Soon after opening, the Great Depression of the 1930's made its way to Brea and the Plunge became a place where local citizens could get away from some of their worries and have some fun.

During the summer of 1943, the Plunge was closed to all swimmers due to a nationwide Polio epidemic. Fears of contagion that summer gave caution to the city and swimmers were told to stay home. It wasn't until 1955 and the development of Dr. Salk's Polio vaccine that these fears were finally put away for good.

In 1984, the Brea Plunge and its changing rooms were placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. By 1988, the Plunge was almost 60-years old and in serious disrepair. Condemned by the Health Department, the Brea Plunge was saved from demolition by local efforts to secure a county grant for reconstruction. Record crowds attending the re-opening enjoyed enhanced safety, function, and aesthetics and gave the redesign great reviews.

Today, the Plunge still stands as a focal point of City Hall Park, a place for friends and family to gather and have fun, and is the oldest, continuously operating Civic-owned freshwater pool in Orange County.

Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded freelance consultant. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting and promoting the city of Brea and its historic iconic Charlie's Clock turned "Charlie the Clock cartoon character!" Click on the front page illustration to read about the beloved time traveling talking clock!!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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