Dive Into History: Meadow Brook’s Pool Cooled off the Community

During the summer months, the Dodge and Wilsons cooled off with a splash in their peanut-shaped pool on the estate.

Built around 1936, the pool was an oasis, featuring extensive landscaping with birch trees, Chinese juniper, and honeysuckle, along with slate pavers, a garden wall, and a beloved babbling waterfallMatilda’s favorite spot on the estate.

As always, Frances was the life of the (pool) party by hosting a 5 a.m. pool party for her friends after a film premiere in Detroit. She even had bathing suits imported from France–specially selected to complement each guest’s hair color.

The pool was a gathering place for the family and their staff and was also important to the community: Matilda hosted swim lessons for women employed at Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company as she had never learned to swim.

Rochester Boy Scout troops were given weekly access to the pools to learn to swim; and after Matilda Wilson’s death, the peanut pool was used by OU faculty and their employees.

Be captivated by the people, places and tales that make Meadow Brook Hall so remarkable. Our Estate Stories series unlocks the vaults, dives into the archives and seeks out tales of the Great Estate to pique your interest and enrich your life.