Natatorium exterior, historic photo

Boise's Natatorium, built in 1892 at a cost of $87,000, once housed the biggest swimming pool in the West, an elegant, geothermally heated wonder that drew locals and visitors for more than three decades. Idaho Press history contributor Rick Just writes, "Patrons passed a smoking room on the left and a ladies parlor on the right as they entered. There was a fine café on the top floor, billiard and card rooms, a saloon, tea rooms, a gym and a balcony dance floor. But the water was the real attraction."

You can read Just's full article here at (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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