Under the light of the full August moon, tall shade trees throw shadows on the grass around Hancock pool, its shimmering surface reflect-ing the soft light of the glow sticks around swimmers’ necks. This is the annual moonlight swim and potluck supper at Hancock Springs. Constructed in 1911, the pool holds 300,000 spring-fed gallons, covers 9,537 square feet, and accommodates more than 800 swimmers. Open to the public for a little more than 100 years, it has seen only minor changes, such as changing the gravel bottom to a concrete one. The water stays around 66 degrees year-round, from the three-foot shallow end to the eight-foot deep end.
From the pool, the spring water discharges into Sulphur Creek, which flows into the Lampasas River. Back in the day, many claimed the slightly sulphurous water had therapeutic benefits—and I would argue it does, just the same as any clean, refreshing Texas water. Soak your feet or entire body and see for yourself. An adjacent historic bath house once served as a restaurant and party house, where Lawrence Welk purportedly played. Today, it can be rented for special events.
Hancock Park is on US 281 South, 512/556-6831; www.lampasaschamber.org/5530398_47902.htm. Pool opens June to September; call for hours and admission fees.