Gathering tonight to mark 80th anniversary of La Jolla Children's Pool

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

An informal celebratory community bonfire is being held tonight (Tuesday) at La Jolla Children’s Pool, starting about 5:30 p.m. to mark the 80th anniversary of the pool’s formal dedication.

Children's Pool in La Jolla was created in 1931 through a trust by Ellen Browning Scripps, a prominent La Jolla benefactress, to build a breakwater so children could safely swim at the beach.

“We wanted to honor Ellen for her gift,” said longtime La Jollan Melinda Merryweather. “We’re urging people to come out and bring hot dogs if they like.”

Merryweather said, in lieu of anything special planned to mark the occasion, she and others felt “the woman has to be honored for this gift. It’s huge. In those days it was like the Brooklyn Bridge or something. I just thank here every day for everything she did for San Diego. She’s our godmother.”

On May 31, 1931, a celebration occurred at the breakwater to celebrate completion of the breakwater. Scripps was too ill to attend, but Savage Hiram Newton Savage, the hydraulic engineer involved in the design, spoke and reminded the audience of the difficulties involved in constructing the structure as well as stressing its importance to the community, according to Jeremy Hollins report on the project called "Until Kingdom Come."

The ceremony featured speeches, a pantomime performance by La Jolla schoolchildren and a concert by the San Diego YMCA band.

   
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