Bathhouse & Pool Terrace
On July 11, 1940, Fuller Jr. wrote to Cason that he was “…seriously thinking of building a swimming pool at Hills and Dales.” Cason owned 40 acres adjacent to the land around Hills and Dales, including a hill on which Fuller stated was the location of Uncle Pope’s office. Fuller needed an area of high elevation to build a deep well and elevated tank to fill the pool and furnish the necessary pressure for the third floor of the home, and thought that the hill on Cason’s land would be perfect. Cason and his wife, Virginia, decided to gift the land to Fuller Jr. in two parts: 20 acres as a Christmas gift in December 1940 and 20 acres as a birthday present in January 1941.
Fuller worked with R. E. Landon, Contractor at Paddock Engineering Company of Dallas, TX, to create a plan for a 22’ x 60’ Indiana Limestone swimming pool that was 3’ to 9’ deep with a springboard, submarine lights, filtration system, chlorinator, and vacuum cleaner. From the time it was built, the pool became a popular place for summertime family gatherings and parties.
The bathhouse, planned by architect Hill Huffman of Atlanta, GA, in August 1940, was designed to complement the Italian villa style of the house. On each side are men and women stalls for changing clothes, as well as shower and bathroom facilities. A kitchenette was also installed. On the back walls of the bathhouse are espaliered ‘Curly Locks’ boxwood — another of Alice Callaway’s creative garden treatments for these woody shrubs.
In October 1990, Alice had the pool completely renovated, including new plastering, tile, and two ladders.
When the estate was opened to the public in 2004, the pool was filled in because of insurance liability and a fountain framed by eight terracotta pots containing ornamental plantings was added. The pool is filled with loose pea gravel which could feasibly be removed in order to restore this area back to a swimming pool. It is always preferred that changes to a historical site be reversible if at all possible, even though the alterations may be deemed necessary at the time they are done, as this would greatly facilitate the possibility of future restoration to the original appearance. The limestone edge that was the pool’s border is still visible.
Today, the 2000 sq. ft. pool terrace is enjoyed by visitors as part of the garden tour and can be rented for outdoor events.
“At least 15 members of the family learned how to swim in the pool and found the delights of a cold 6 oz coke and peanut butter and cheese crackers after an afternoon of swimming.” – Mark Callaway (grandson of Fuller and Alice Callaway)
- Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) shrubs at corners of bathhouse on courtyard side. Pink buds open white in late winter. Planted by Alice Hand Callaway, 1943.
- Boxwood (Buxus microphylla ‘Curly Locks’) espaliers on interior wall of pool terrace. Planted by Alice Hand Callaway, 1972.
- Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) in two containers at base of bathhouse steps on pool terrace side. Blooms white in summer. Plants were given to Alice Callaway by her son-in-law and daughter, Charles and Ida Callaway Hudson, several decades ago.
- Quince (Chaenomeles sp.) against exterior pool house walls on courtyard side. Orange blossoms in late winter and into spring. Planted by Alice Callaway.