Micky Thornton had always dreamed of a backyard pool as a kid. As you do.
But as an adult, Thornton decided to make his fantasy a reality, which is another thing entirely. And Thornton didn’t just want your standard home swimming hole—he had his sights set on something much bigger.
“To start with, I probably had the idea when I was 9 or 10 years old,” Thornton said. “I wanted [the pool] large in the deep end but large and deep enough you could swim around it and not feel like you are trapped in a little box,” he told WREG.
Turning Dreams Into Reality
In 1993, he started building what resembled more of an attraction at a water park than a backyard pool at his Covington, Tennessee, home.
The pool is made up of 320 yards of gunite (a cement-sand mixture used in lining tunnels and structural repairs), 40,000 pounds of steel rebar, rock-lined waterfalls, sprayers and an estimated half a million gallons of water.
Check out this video that shows the pool’s evolution over the years.
Although the pool was intended for family use, the stunning creation attracted the attention of friends and neighbors, whom the Thorntons let use the pool free of charge.
People kept offering to pay for use the aquatic playground, so eventually they decided on a fixed donation price. Check out these shots of a fun day at the pool from Instagram:
Now people can rent the pool for events such as birthday parties, family reunions and even weddings and baptisms.
“Of the different churches, there have been over 400 people baptized in the pool,” Thornton told WREG. “Which is something I think is kind of neat.”
The Japanese national baseball team has even visited the pool.
“They called and asked if we could have them over for an afternoon,” Jane Thornton, Micky’s wife, recalled. “I thought sure, there are nine guys on the field, probably a total of 25 people. Wrong. There was 50.”
The Thorntons aren’t the first people to build a massive backyard pool, but they may just have taken things to a whole other level.
If you live in the area and are interested in reserving the pool for an event, check out the Thornton’s Facebook page for availability.
Another Massive Backyard Pool To The North
Another couple, based in Sundre in Alberta, Canada, wanted to create a place where they could spend quality time with family and friends. So Jerry and Marina Leussink created the perfect resort right on their farm, which includes a massive 31,700-gallon swimming pond they constructed themselves.
Jerry Leussink says he has many fond memories of enjoying the pond on the farm where he grew up, so he wanted to recreate a space that was similar on his own property.
The swimming pond is an incredible 90 feet long and 70 feet wide. For reference, an professional football end zone is about 160 feet by 30 feet, so you can get a sense for how large this manmade pond is.
It’s about 14 feet deep in the deep end when completely full, but there is also a shallow area so that the littlest of family members can enjoy the pool, too.
The first couple of years after the pool was constructed, they used it without a liner, which worked well with the clay soil base. But after a while, weeds started to become an issue, so the Leussinks put in a liner.
Of course, for any type of pond, it’s important to manage the water quality, so Jerry uses several forms of chlorine in conjunction with algaecide and a solar powered aeration system, which he constructed himself.
Jerry also built a patio and dock for people to walk right into the pond, plus a deck that can double as a dance floor in the evening (how fun is that?!).
Solar lights illuminate the area, making it a great place to spend time even after the sun has set.
You’re probably wondering how much something like this cost, right?
Jerry says the grand total for the entire project came to around $15,000, which he says isn’t a big investment considering how much fun it has created for his entire family.
Find out more about the Leussink’s pond in the video below:
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