Back in time: 1949 Water Carnival to be re-‘broadcast’

Published 4:56 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

“You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop —The Twilight Zone.” — Rod Sterling


The date is July 7th, 1949, at 8 p.m., a summer Thursday night over 73 years ago.  Brookhaven’s population is 7,800.  Oil is in production in Lincoln County.  The Lions Club is handing out programs.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Come hear the 1949 broadcast by WJMB radio of the 7th Annual Lions Club Water Carnival from the municipal pool. The carnival includes three age groups of young ladies, 8 and under, 9 through 14, and 15 and up. There are fireworks, operetta songs, swimming, diving, clown shows, and much more. There are a few segments recorded, not the entire pageant. 

The Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society will present a visual introduction to the water carnival followed by a radio broadcast via a vintage radio, much like one listened to on that July night in 1949. The original audio was recorded is on a large studio-style vinyl record. The program will be at 6 p.m. at the Jimmy Furlow Senior Citizen Center.

“We welcome members to bring 1949 water carnival memorabilia and stories to share during the meetings,” said LCHGS President Cathy Bridge. “If you know one of the participants of the 1949 water carnival, bring that person, family, pictures or stories to share. Our main purpose is to preserve and inform the community of its history.”

Here is a partial list of the contestants. If you recognize a name, let them or their family know. Please excuse any misspelling as these were taken from the audio broadcast.


Age group 1-8 (in 1949)

Julie Dale Wilson, Myrle Mira Posey, Patsy Hailey, Judith Ann McKee, Joan Ann Broacher, Diane Reeves. Catherine Bowman, Sharon Brossard, Annie Marie Martin, Sidney Mize, Kathline Piper, Sharon Townsend, Maureen O’Rourke, Becky Leary, Charlotte Arlene Sanders, Becky Jo Rials, Margaret Lovett, Jennie Belle Entrican, Anna Clair Vaughn, Elaine McEvoy, Flora Nations, Sharon Hannon, Peggy Ann Rayborn, Linda Jordan, Janet Smith


Age group 9-14 (in 1949)

Patricia Ann Nettles, Patsy Pullen, Glenda Oberschmidt, Maye Griffin, Faye Griffin, Kay Davis

Age group 15 and up (in 1949)

Margaret Allgood, Dorothy Jean Prestridge, Barbara Carroll, Sarah Helen Wade, Jan Ratliff, Ollie Grice, Ida Kergosien, Helen Murray, Sarah Jean Thompson, Joyce Cook, Jo Ann Brueck, Vicky Nations, Dorothy Case, Marie McCullough, Geraldine Jones, Wilma Schlesinger, Ruth Porter, Annie Rutledge, Bertie Blaze, Sharon Nubala, Pat Elmore, Bobbie Laureen Leggett, Jean Carroll Kennedy

The public is invited to attend the program. LCHS membership is $25 per year, or a lifetime membership for $200. Members will receive a listeners guide to follow along with the broadcast. Plan on attending Jan 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Jimmy Furlow Senior Center, 201 S First St, Brookhaven.