In 1929, Charles E. Cole purchased a horse farm facing Grove Street on the Clifton-Montclair border. Not being a horseman, Charles contemplated several options for the use of the property. Noting there was a 105ft. deep artesian water well located on the property, he decided to establish a public pool that would serve as a summer retreat for families from the adjacent communities.
In 1931, the Montclair Swimming Pool was opened to the public. It consisted of the present swimming pool and the structures that currently serve as the snack bar and the men’s and women's locker rooms. The snack bar area served as the pool entrance. Sharing a pleasant summer day with family and friends became the trademark of the public club. Daily fees and seasonal memberships were available for the general public. Charles E. Cole and his son Quentin were the greeters, workers and heart and soul of the club. Charles wanted a seasonal business, so that he could spend the summer in New Jersey and winter in Florida. While in Florida, he became enthralled with the game of shuffleboard and quickly added five shuffleboard courts, along with a softball field to the grounds of his Montclair pool.
Montclair Swimming Pool 1931
Quentin Cole purchased the Montclair Swimming Pool from his dad, Charles E. Cole, in 1952 and changed the focus from a public facility to our private Montclair Beach Club. Just as the new stadiums incorporate skyboxes, Quentin incorporated cabanas within the facility. The lower cabanas were added in 1954; while the upper cabanas were added in 1958. The building of the lower tennis courts in 1960 and upper courts in 1962 followed the cabanas. This was a boom time for tennis, and a tennis membership was added to the original swim club membership... of course, the softball diamond gave way to the parking lot to meet the needs of the membership.
Montclair Beach Club 1952
In 1986, after serving a 15-year apprenticeship, Roger Cole purchased the club from his dad, Quentin, and assumed all management responsibilities. Roger added Kelly Grady to his staff in 1987 & Jim Grady joined the staff in 2005. Roger continued the facility development over the years by embellishing the second floor business office, renovating the women’s and men’s locker rooms, resurfacing the tennis and shuffleboard courts along with adding a state of the art backwashing and heating system for the pool.
In 2017 after a 30 year apprenticeship, Kelly & Jim Grady along with Ginny & Rich Moriarty purchased the Montclair Beach Club from Roger. The trademark remains the same today as in 1931. The Montclair Beach Club is a family run business that serves as a place to spend a pleasant summer day with family and friends. As a longtime member of 54 years, Nick Villarosa once stated, “The Montclair Beach Club is my extended family.”
Thank you, Charles E. Cole, you had a great vision!