The Tomato Hole was a pool of water in a little branch that ran through our pasture and across the road a short distance from our house.  The water was deep enough for us kids to swim. This swimming hole got its name from the tomato patch our dad planted each spring. While I never thought about it when I was small, we had our very own swimming pool right there at Banner Mountain. Surrounded by nature. Along with tomatoes growing nearby, delicious Muscadines hung on vines on the banks of the branch. Pines and cedars, oaks, wild cherry trees, and maples made up the forest.  Privet bushes shaped like umbrellas popped up everywhere.  When in bloom they were covered in tiny flowers.

Not only did we swim, we also caught “crawdads”. Frog eggs and tadpoles were abundant and exciting to find. And we loved playing with frogs.


My cousin and I once thought my younger sister was about to drown when she was trying to get away from a snake. She tried climbing up the bank and kept sliding back into the water. We reached for her hands and helped her up the bank. Heroically, we “saved” her. I don’t remember if we told our parents, and if we didn’t, it might have been because we feared they’d forbid us to ever swim again at the Tomato Hole. And that would have been a tragic end to a magical part of our childhood. For sure!

© Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols

7 comments on “BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL #15

  1. we waded our creek…catching craw dads… frogs…tadpoles…. such experiences missed by our younger generation…


  2. I Wilkerson says:

    What an idyllic (other than the snake ;-)) sounding place!


    • Yes, it was a happy place. I recall the incident about the snake and helping my little sister get out of the water, but the snake must have meant no harm! lol I remember seeing other snakes in the woods or along the road, but I only worried about them, after I went to bed at night. Then, I would think of what might have happened! We knew which kinds were poisonous.


  3. Great story, Freeda!


  4. I wish we’d had a swimming hole like this. Sounds like such fun.


    • As kids, we had fun splashing in that small swimming hole, that probably ran dry late in summer. Road work and culvert has all but destroyed the deep hole where the water once filled enough for little kids to swim and play.


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