Cooling Off

A New Way to Cool Off

PE class in the 1930s
By the mid-1900s, the people in Katy discovered another way to cool off. By then, many fortunate farmers had built rice wells to irrigate their crops which doubled as ice cold swimming holes. Huge pipes pumped ice cold water into a pool that was then pushed on through long canals and into the rice fields.

Lopez recalls, “Every year my Dad would clean out the hole so it was fairly deep and wide. He kept one side shallow for little kids before he began making the long canals to the rice fields. We couldn’t wait for him to turn on that pump to start flooding the fields. During harvest time, farm hands knew that at 5:00 p.m. they were allowed to go jump in the swimming hole.”