In the fall of 1939, Katherine Ives left the City of Sebastopol $30,000, as an endowment for a park. Under the terms of the will, the trustees would construct “…recreational facilities for the use of the children of Sebastopol.”
In the fall of 1940, the city purchased a tract of land and had tentative plans to construct a swimming pool.
On September 20, 1941 Ives Memorial Park opened with a dedication ceremony attended by aquatic stars from the Pacific Amateur Association.
Performers at the dedication ceremony included Helen Crlenkovich, National Diving Champion; Marion Falconer, member of the 1940 Olympic Team; Ann Curtis, Pacific Coast and Pacific Associations 100-yard and 500-yard champion; and Emmet Cashin, Far Western backstroke champion, Junior National Champion, and holder of four American records.
In the first few years the pool was open, Analy High School had exclusive rights to the pool during the daytime, for physical education classes.
1955 was the inaugural year for the Sebastopol Sea Serpents, then called the Sebastopol Swim Team. The team was a member of the American Athletic Association (now USA Swimming) and competed in age-group meets as well as the Redwood Empire League (now Zone 3).
In the late 1950s, the team’s name changed to Sebastopol Sea Serpents.
For the first several years, the team struggled in dual meet competition but gradually grew and gained experience.
1968 brought a new head coach, Greg Jacobs, who previously swam on the team. In three years, Coach Jacobs brought the struggling 1968 team to their first Championship title, 1971 Redwood Empire League Champions.
Unfortunately, SSS was only able to practice and compete during the summer, because the pool was closed from October to April.
Since 1990, however, the team swims year-round thanks to West Sonoma County Swimmers, the nonprofit organization which now manages the pool for the City of Sebastopol.