When the armory was purchased in 2004, one of the first questions we asked was “what do you think they used the pool for?” We knew it was built in 1913, but that was about it. But thanks to Thomas Mooney, we now know that in 1975 or 1976 the armory pool held water safety classes…
Mooney served at the Connecticut Street Armory from 1957 to 1972, before being transferred to the Niagara Falls Armory. Part of E company, Mooney built bridges over water, wearing a hard hat and life jacket. Considering he wasn’t the strongest swimmer, the classes were important (although he did confide that a considerable amount of the class was spent playing water volleyball).
Mooney has fond memories of his 32 years in the service. “I met a lot of good friends in the service,” Mooney said. “And I maintained a lot of relationships with people I met in the 1950s.”
**Thank you to everyone who shared their stories with our staff this past Sunday. Keep checking back for more unique stories of this historic building.