The Abbeville Swim Club and Swim Team

The Abbeville Municipal Swimming Pool opened sometime around 1953. It was managed by Fletcher W. Ferguson who also managed the Abbeville Recreation Center, taught math in high school, and worked for the Press and Banner. A Swim Club was formed which produced annual Aqua Shows where we swam in unison to show tunes with colored spot lights highlighting the swimmers. This is a picture of the first Swim Club. It was made for the Press and Banner by Bobby Blake who was a high school student and an avid photographer. Pictured are Pamela Terrell, Patricia Harris, Doris Poliakoff, Barbara Graham, Linda Terrell, Mildred Kelley, Eileen Hill, Kay Hite, David Estes, Mary Todd Wolfe, Buddy Cheek, Mary Ann Wham, Richard Dyar, Dickie Edwards, Billy Kelley, Samuella Speer, Donny Outzs, Coach Fletcher Ferguson, Harriet Calvert (the reigning water queen that year), Frances Nickles, Dick McCarthy, Mixon Darracott, Bill Bowie, Nat Vandiver, Marshall Leach, Manager Dan Vandiver, Ben Byrd, Billy Rabon, Flynn Bowie, Manager Eddie LaBoone, Mrs. Judy Terrell, and Phyllis (Pidgie) Greene. This picture is of the club the year it was organized. It won one state championship at Columbia with Richard Dyar setting a record in the boys back stroke. The club also won the first annual Six-City Swim Meet at Greenwood.

Thanks to Kerry Fossett (AHS class of '59) for sending me this picture of the 1958 Swim Team. The picture was taken in Columbia in 1958. Abbeville had just been presented the State Championship Trophy. Starting on the front row left is Ruth Howie with the AAU patch on her swim suit, ?, ?, Mrs. Mary Binet (holding a trophy), Patsy Rosenberg (holding a plaque), Pamela Terrell (standing behind and to the right of Pamela), ? (holding a plaque), Mrs. Terrell (holding a trophy), Kerry Fossett (wearing the knee high socks that we used to wear with what we called Bermuda shorts), and David Estes. On the second row is Tommy Richardson, Punk Larkin (killed in a motorcycle accident in 1966), Mary Jo King (trying to hide), Janet Umsteader, Peggy Norris, Patricia Harris, Linda Terrell, Pee Dee Glenn, Mary Winton Hughes, and Gene Howie (who in 1961 was named "Miss Abbeville Aqua" during the 8th annual Abbeville Aqua Show). The two boys on the left on the next row back are ?, and ?. The three girls toward the right on that row are Sarah Linda Schrimpf, Gene Wilson, and Sally Thurmond. On the last row are Richard Dyer, Billy Mann, Mixon Darracott, Willy Nickles, Terry Brooks (a visiting team member from Anderson), and Jerry Richardson. Mary Binet and Judy Terrell worked tirelessly for years with the swim teams. The team went to swim meets all over South Carolina. They once went to the University of Georgia to an invitational meet and once to the Junior Olympics in Charlotte. Judy Terrell was once the Georgia State Womens Diving Champion.

This is a picture of the swim team title holders from the late 1950s. Pictured are Jean Wilson, Flynn Bowie, Pidgie Green, Pamela Terrell, Jerry Richardson, Dickie Edwards, Richard Dyar, and Linda Terrell.

This is a picture of the Swim Team in 1955. I am the one with the missing head.

Swim Champs.

Jean Wilson, Linda Terrell, and Sarah Linda Schrimpf.

Fourth of July Swim Meet.

Fourth of July Swim Meet.

Samuella Speer at the pool opening in 1955.

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