Mother concerned of swimming hole

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - There may still be snow in the forecast for a few more weeks, but that's not stopping one mother of voicing her concerns of teenagers swimming in an area she doesn't think safe.

Jody Casey, who has four children between herself and her other half, thinks the old quarry behind Willow Street that teenagers have been known to visit over the summer is contaminated and doesn't want anyone swimming in it.

"Summer will soon be coming and it will be the first place teenagers will be heading, especially now that the pool at the YMCA is set to close next month," she said, admitting her 14-year-old son had been swimming there before.

"The place itself looks gorgeous, but there are old buses and cars in there. It was once farmland, so you never know, there could be dead carcasses in there too.

"It bothers me."

Casey says that growing up in Amherst, she too frequented the old quarry, but never went swimming in it. She says her and her friends would throw rocks into the water and could see the top of an old bus.

"I think something should be done, like filled in... just something to stop people from going in."

One of Casey's concerns is with the distance it takes to get to the old quarry, which she says isn't accessible by vehicle.

"If anything were to happen when people are back there and they needed medical help, an ambulance can't get to them," Casey added.

When she first found out through a picture on her son's cell phone that he was back there with friends, Casey called the local police department. She says she was told the police knew about the location, but there was nothing that could be done about it.

According to documents at Town Hall, the property is registered to Vaughan Coates.

Town manager Greg Herrett says he's unsure if the town has gotten any complaints.

"It's not your typical property complaint, but if we did get complaints about it, we would take a look to see what the story is," Herrett said Tuesday afternoon, adding especially if it went against bylaws.

While many may not think of swimming outside during the middle of winter, but Casey wanted to make her concerns now, in preparation for the summer season.

"If somebody jumps in the water there, they could get hurt or break their neck. There's no supervision," Casey said.

If there isn't anything that can be done to stop people from swimming at the old quarry, she hopes the quality of the water is at least tested to make sure it's uncontaminated.

Organizations: YMCA

Geographic location: AMHERST, Willow Street

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Recent comments

  • Tim
    January 18, 2010 - 11:08

    I don't know if this makes Mrs Casey feel any better but the are not any cars , buses or anything else in therein the bottom of the quarry unless they have been put in there in the last ten years. The town drained it approx. 10 or 12 years ago and the old cars ,bikes and other things we hauled out and trucked away to my dads scrap yard. Someone could possibly still drown but it shouldn't be from hitting anything under the water

  • Bev
    January 18, 2010 - 11:06

    I remember Gary MacDonald, and the tragedy of his death, The Quarry was a cool place to go and hang out then and it is probably the same today, however it probably isn't any safer now than it was than, but Kids will be Kids and at least at the Quarry they are not driving too fast or drinking and driving, so there are pros and cons as there were in my day, which wasn't yesterday.

  • Captain
    January 18, 2010 - 11:05

    I think we should fill in every water hole! and put nets in every tree. is this woman just trying to find something to yap about?

  • Melissa
    January 18, 2010 - 10:42

    Back when I was younger I used to go to the quarry, it was the cool place to hang out, untill one day a bunch of us found a duffel bag in the water and opened it and found a dead dog... who knows what other animals are in the water.. and it is way to far back for ambulances and most kids are going there late at nite in the dark to drink away from adult supervision... something should definatly be done.

  • Dawn
    January 18, 2010 - 10:40

    I myself have never been to this place or actually even heard of it but it kinda sounds like drysdale falls. I beautiful place to go and no vehicle access. Look at all the accidents that has happened at the falls. The onwer of the land did so much to try and keep people from going there but it didn't work. It took someone dying there for the police to do anything about it. I know that there are still people who sneak up there, but if they get caught they get slapped with a traspassing fine. So if this place isn't safe to swim then it's going to take a lot of work to keep people from going there.

  • MadMac
    January 18, 2010 - 10:38

    If you are worried about the water quality your kids are swimming in, take a water sample to the health dept. and have tested. They will tell you wether the water is safe to swim in. I wopuld assume it is safe because I don't see anyone in Amherst with 3 heads. Even in Parrsboro people swim and fish bass 50 feet away from the raw sewage inlet pipes. Nobody here with 3 heads. Just a few leaders with big ones.

  • Feeling old...
    January 18, 2010 - 10:36

    Ahhhh, I remember my visits to the quarry back in my teenage years. We had always heard stories of what may or may not have been dumped there over the years which was enough to keep us from actually swimming there.

    More than anything it was just a place to hang-out and camp in the woods without actually leaving town. Sure, alcohol may have been invoilved from time to time, but at least drinking and driving was never an issue.

    Yes, this property is probably not the safest but I guess at the end of the day if teenagers and alcohol are involved, there is always the potential for harm, regardless of the location.

    In the meantime, if you want to go swimming so badly, we're only a 20 minute drive away from the beach (and it's free!)

  • Mom
    January 18, 2010 - 10:33

    Unfortunately, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
    Logically if the property belongs to someone then anyone on it without permission should not go looking for compensation if he or she gets hurt, however we all know that's not how the courts see it these days.

  • Charles
    January 18, 2010 - 10:31

    Does anyone remember Gary MacDonald? I am sure there are people in Amherst that do. He would have been in his mid teens around 1956. The Quarry comes to mind every time I remember his name.