Veteran’s Park, originally known as Westside Park, is one of the city’s landmarks, located at
the southwest corner of Virginia Avenue and Frank Phillips Boulevard. For an interactive map of streets and other features of Bartlesville go to GIS City Maps. The site originally was home to the Bartlesville Vitrified Brick Company, opening for business on April 12, 1902 and closing on February 1, 1914. The plant grounds were then sold to the Bartlesville Board of Education and the buildings were torn down. The shale pit remained open for a number of years for swimming and diving, and in the forties a dock was built on the west side of the pit for the demonstration of fishing equipment. The dock was also used by swimmers and divers until a number were drowned, and the City closed the pit for swimming and built a two-to-three foot high concrete block wall around the entire pit just prior to 1948. The property was donated to the City in the 1950s, and after several years, the shale pit was eventually filled and plans for the development of Westside Park were underway. This park was developed and opened in 1960 to replace the park that was on land later leased by the City of Bartlesville to the Reda Pump Company.
The City’s first public swimming pool, known as Frontier Pool, was constructed on the quarry site in 1970. With an intial construction cost of $200,000, the pool was built with City funds, Federal Grant Funds, and donations from the H.C. Price Company, Phillips Petroleum Company, the Frank Phillips Foundation, Reda Pump Company, National Zinc Company, and Cities Service Company. The facility included both a swimming pool and a diving pool and diving platforms of Olympic scale. In 1987, the Olympic platform diving tryouts were held at Frontier Pool, with 2 time gold medal winner Greg Louganis competing.
In 2008, because of an underground leak in the pool, the City closed and removed the facility and built a new zero-entry level swimming pool and water park on the site. Information about the new Frontier Pool can be found here.
Other recreational facilities located at Veterans’ Park include:
- Two multi-purpose fields
- Two basketball courts
- One sand volleyball court
Veterans’ Park is located at 312 SW Virginia Avenue. Directions to Veterans’ Park and Frontier Pool, via Google Maps, can be found here.