A history

Veteran’s Park, formerly known as Westside Park, was developed in 1960 on 4.6 acres of land located at the southwest corner of Virginia Avenue and Frank Phillips Boulevard.

The site was originally home to the Bartlesville Vitrified Brick Company, opening for business on April 12, 1902 and closing on February 1, 1914. Upon its closing, the plant was sold to the Bartlesville Board of Education and torn down. A shale pit located on the site remained and was used for swimming and diving, and a dock was built on the west side sometime later for fishing equipment demonstrations. However, after several boys drowned, the pit was closed and a two-to-three foot high concrete block wall was built around it. The property was donated to the City in the 1950s, the pit was filled in, and plans for a new park were underway.

In 1970, Frontier Pool was constructed at the park. The $200,000 project was funded by 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 swimming pool, diving pool, and diving platforms of Olympic Scale.

In 2008, due to an underground leak in the pool, the facility was closed to the public and removed. In July of that year, the Bartlesville City Council voted to approve a plan for the design of a new zero-depth entry recreational swimming pool and water park at the site. The project was completed and the pool reopened in 2010.

Fun facts

  • Though there were several privately-owned swimming pools in and around Bartlesville, Frontier Pool was the City’s first public-use swimming facility.
  • The pool was the site of the 1987 Olympic platform diving tryouts, with two-time gold medalist Greg Louganis competing.
  • The shale pit formerly located at the site was used to secure clay for many of the city’s brick streets.

Park amenities

  • Swimming pool and water park
  • Shelter available for public use
  • Multi-purpose fields
  • Basketball courts
  • Public restrooms
  • Picnic tables/benches