Baths destroyed in lieu of new services
IT WAS the end of a daily routine for a dwindling number of devotees. At a February meeting of the Dalby Town Council in 1938 the decision was made to close the old Bore Baths as they needed the building for the electric light department.
The establishment of the baths had taken place 30 years before, thanks to the Government's decision to sink a bore down to the artesian supply in 1904. Joey Bell, Member for Dalby had prevailed upon the Premier to bring this about. At 2600 feet a supply of 6000 gallons were obtained.
The water flowed freely from the head. As it was warm, a shower bath was erected on the bank of the creek.
It was surrounded by Hessian cloth but the westerly winds played havoc with the structure leaving little privacy for the occupants.
It wasn't long before a galvanised iron bath house was erected comprising of two shower and two dressing rooms. This was a big improvement on the old Hessian cloth structure. A large iron tank formed the roof of the baths. It was first leased to Mrs Morrow who was popular among the bath patrons. She was succeeded by Mrs Stewart an old Dalby resident and was the first baby born in Dalby.
In the early days at about 7 am, it was a popular meeting place where the news of the day was discussed and many yarns exchanged.
Even the Governor of Queensland, Sir William McGregor, when visiting Dalby patronised the bore baths. In the morning the old and young attended in pyjamas or brightly coloured kimonos with bath towels over their shoulders and soap in hand
One regular patron, the mother of a large family was absent for a few days. It was revealed her tenth child was born. One wag joked with the father that they should call him "Watson” as a favourite whisky at that time was Watson No 10.
A new modern building, which still stands, was built. In it were plunge baths and showers. When the swimming pool was built some wanted the baths to be moved there.
It was well known that the water in the bore had a considerable curative property which was proved by many who had taken a course at the bore baths. Homes were becoming more modern with bathrooms built into them and though the 1930s attendance had dropped off.
The attraction of curative waters has been promoted in various places and some believe Dalby too could follow suit.