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The Midland Trail

Dreamland Pool


Dreamland Pool is surely Kenova’s best-known landmark. Built on the Big Sandy riverbank in 1925, it’s been attracting summer fun-seekers ever since. Dreamland added a dance pavilion to the roof of its main building in the 1930s. The pavilion (shown at the upper right of this postcard view) quickly became a popular nightspot, attracting crowds to dances featuring musical stars such as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong, as well as a host of local talent. The building housing the pavilion burned in 1973, while the city of Kenova was negotiating to purchase the pool from its private owners. The deal went through anyway, and the city has operated the pool each summer since 1974. Dreamland is the Midland Trail’s last stop on its 172-mile trip through West Virginia. Once it passes Dreamland, the historic roadway crosses the Big Sandy and heads into Kentucky.

All images are reprinted, with permission, from Highway to History: A Midland Trail Scrapbook (Quarrier Press, $17.95) by James E. Casto, the author of a number of books on local and regional history.

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