Fancy a swim to Philly? II

Our previous post, “Fancy a swim to Philly?” described how Riverton youngsters proved their mettle back in the day by swimming across the Delaware River.

Maybe a knowledgeable sailor can report on today’s state of the Delaware River compared to a century ago, but swimming across now is probably ill-advised for several reasons.

Our dear former HSR Board member, Elsie Showell Waters, now passed, related the following story to Casey Foedisch who interviewed the Grand Marshal for the July Fourth Parade in 2013:

Elsie Showell Waters, 2013 Riverton July 4 Parade Marshal

When Elsie was twelve, she swam across the Delaware River, a rite of passage that all the kids simply “had to do.” Elsie learned to swim at age five in the river, and her love of swimming continued into her time at Palmyra High School. There, she was a member of the Swim Team, eventually becoming captain, as two of her sisters had been before her. She later taught swimming to children with cerebral palsy at Medford Leas, and spent many years with Bay Knight Ruff, another cousin, giving swim lessons to Riverton children. Elsie estimates that the two of them taught a third of the town to swim!

Elsie was truly remarkable and is missed by all.

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

Leave a Reply