Did you know that in 1990 scientists from the World Ozone Congress held in New York City came to look at the Cruiser Club and its filtration system, which had been installed 67 years ago? In the spring of 1937, the Arthur Crane Company built one of the finest pools in the country in what was once a swamp area at the southern end of the lake. The Marine Pool and Tennis Club immediately became popular with those who preferred pool swimming to lake swimming. Built Olympic-sized, it had a state-of-the-art filtration system, which was actually installed a year before the technology was featured in the 1939 World's Fair. When the scientists investigated the system, they were amazed at its simple design that uses no chemicals. It is currently the oldest such ozone purification method in the world, according to present owner Art Mina. Professional swim events, as well as summer and winter club activities, were held at the pool. Katherine Rawls Thompson, one of the United State's leading female swimmers, broke a national record there in 1938. Movie stars, such as Johnny Weismueller and Ester Williams, were often featured performers. Buster Crabbe supposedly swam from the pool to the Boardwalk. Even the Junior Olympics were held there for a few years. There was always something entertaining going on: an alligator-wrestling contest, dives made into a ring of fire, the Miss Lake Mohawk contest and regular performances by the Aqua-zanies, a group of clown and acrobatic divers who often made the crowd gasp at their antics on the high diving platform. There was even a gentleman who rigged up a catapultand had himself propelled 70 feet in the air and into the pool. The local diving competition regularly attracted hundreds of spectators. The Club was sold by the Crane Company for financial reasons in 1937 to a club member and then passed through the hands of various owners. When it was acquired by William Hookway, Jr. in 1967, it had been closed for a number of years and had been vandalized and in great disrepair. He had to rebuild a 165-foot wall of the pool, replace decks and build new ones. He also added the three tennis courts and opened up the view from the pool to the lake. Hookway changed the name to The Cruiser Swim and Tennis Club, the name it keeps today. During this cold, gray winter, it's good to remember warm, happy days at this unique Sparta landmark. Article by Judy Dunn To suggest a topic of local interest, please contact the author at 973-729-4325.The next meeting of the Sparta Historical Society will be held at 7:30 p.m., March 10 at the Sparta Ambulance Building located at 14 Sparta Avenue.