GLEN CARBON - This 1950s picture shows Glen Carbon teenagers enjoying their Christmas ice skates on Smola pond. The teenagers pictured are (l to r) Carol Rasplica, Judy Helfer, Phyllis Helfer, Belle Rasplica and Wilbur Mateyka.   

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Today, what is left of Smola pond is located just north of the entrance to Somerset Subdivision off Meridian Road. Road construction and years of silt have filled the pond so all that remains are cattails and a few trees. Old-timers report that back in the day, ice skating was a favorite sport. There were several ponds in the area that were frequented. Besides Smola, one was Schaefer’s pond that is located to the north of Smola pond, also on the west side of the Meridian, south of Raccoon Drive. There is still water but lots of overgrowth and silt.  

Other favorites were No. 2 Mine pond which was located in the valley at the intersection of School and Birger Streets. This pond no longer exists. Mine No. 1 pond is located off South Meridian Road in a valley across the street from Olivia Drive. This pond is often dry but recent rains have replenished it for the time being. Schroeder’s pond, used by the Schroeder Brothers Slaughter House, was located off Glen Crossing Road just to the east of the bike trail. Dry for many years, the pond area is now occupied by Gate No. 1 of the East Thirty Mobile Home Park. Of course, there are other lakes and ponds in Glen Carbon. These few were mentioned often.

Today the popularity of ice skating remains strong with rinks such as: Steinberg Rink in Forest Park, St. Louis; the ice rink at The Loading Dock in Grafton, IL and one in Wilson Park, Granite City, IL.

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