The No. 12 Swimming Hole Near Coaldale

The No. 12 Swimming Hole Near Coaldale

(Letter to the Gazette – The Valley Gazette, August 1984)

Dear Ed,

As a youngster I used to go to #12 swimming hole. As noted, it was located in the Coaldale area (between #8 and #10 culm banks).

To get there one had to go to about 4th Street & Water Street in Coaldale, cross the railroad tracks (north side) climb a small bank and walk through a small forest, climb another bank and continue to the depression (cave-in) that runs east to west the entire length of the mountain, parallel to the power lines.

#12 was formed probably by a sink hole and fed by a spring (fresh water).

My father, brothers and friends from Ridge Street went there and usually used our shorts as swimming trunks.

There was a diving board and plenty of catfish, which we used to catch with bamboo rods and homemade hooks and worms.

One day while I was there there was a drowning.

We spent many happy summer days there even though I couldn’t swim. My dad had the job of cleaning the catfish.


Stephen A. Kalista Sr.

Fords, N.J.