The popular swimming hole right off U.S. Route One between Richmond and Petersburg, was the most refreshing refuge from humidity and sweltering dog days west of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It was a mecca for locals seeking a few hours of blessed relief and a major vacation destination for tourists from throughout the state. Folks were drawn by its enormous sand beach, water slides, the high diving board where giggling girls congregated to watch the boys show off, and the adjacent dance hall that filled the evening air with Big Band melodies. Everyone entering the bath house received a distinctive pin, later using it to reclaim their clothes after a swim. Today, the brass pins are cherished by many old-timers who wear them as lapel ornaments.
Tommy Crump, whose parents bought the lake and surrounding cottages after working several years for R.D. Moore, the original owner, recalls that hundreds of families from as far away as North Carolina came back year after year. Folks driving from the north to Florida soon learned that it was the ideal overnight stop both going and coming. For the locals, Moore’s Lake was the place to be and to be seen. It was inevitable that the sunny afternoons and moonlit evenings were responsible for untold romances. Many blossomed into marriage.
The sturdy brick and stone cottages Moore built in 1929 were the epitome of luxury when George and Lena Crump took over the business. They quickly modernized them further by adding bathrooms. As the Depression eased and tourists clamored to enjoy their amenities and the sylvan setting, they built more cottages throughout the fragrant woods until they numbered 38. By 1941, they had erected a restaurant and their own comfortable brick home on the property.
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