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Picture dated c. 1905
This picture did not appear in the original article
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Crystal Lake was located just west of Lefferts Boulevard between Austin and Grenfell Streets. It was drained c. 1907 and the Long Island Railroad Station and tracks were built over it.
Clad as Nymphs:  Brooklyn Girls Go Swimming in Crystal Lake
[Reprinted from the August 22, 1908 issue of the Richmond Hill Record]

If an amateur photographer had not happened along to get pictures of the old Richmond Hill golf links Saturday afternoon, which were among the most picturesque on Long Island, the impromptu bath of ten Hebes, clad as Greek nymphs, might never have been chronicled, for the cop on the beat was too modest to get mixed up in any such thing as girls bathing in Mother Eve suits. The chances are that there are ten young women who would pay fancy prices for the negatives before they are developed.

Since the Richmond Hill Golf Club died, the links which are on the property owned by Alrick H. Man, have not been used for golf, and are very much frequented by picnickers, who like to sit beside Crystal Lake, over which the golfers used to drive the ball, and eat their luncheons. Saturday, in the sunny part of the afternoon, ten girls ranging in age from 15 ot 18 years, alighted from a trolley car and made their way to the lake. There they had lunch, which they carried with them in baskets. Suddenly, one of them was struck with a brilliant idea.

"Let's go swimming, girls," she exclaimed.

"But we haven't any bathing suits," suggested Miss Prim.

"So, we haven't," said the first speaker, as if just discovering the fact, "but let's go in anyway."

The adventure appealed to all. The girls retired discreetly behind a clump of trees, and, soon returning, placed their clothing carefully in ten neat piles on the bank. Then there was a splashing and throwing of water as could not fail to attract the solitary policeman who loomed up in the distance. The bathers also attracted the attention of an amateur photographer who was walking along Lefferts avenue near the lake. He crept up to the edge of the lake, and his camera was in focus before he was discovered.

"Girls, girls! A photographer!", screamed one of the bathers just as the camera snapped.

"Weeeeeee!" screamed all in chorus. Then, all ducked.

The photographer grinned, and as the heads and shoulders popped up again, he snapped his camera again and again.

"Get handfuls of mud, girls, and we'll drive him away," said one of the prettiest of the party.

As the phalanx advanced, he took another snapshot. Then he took to his heels, but it was too late. He and his light summer suit were plastered with mud until both were a sight. The young man has his pictures, however, and he retired content, if not in good order. So did the policeman, who had been taking in the whole spectacle from behind a convenient hillock. For is he not a married man, with a reputation to safeguard?

It was not all sunburn that suffused the girls faces as they hurried to the trolley car and sped away from Richmond Hill. Now, who can that horrid photographer be?  The girls might apply to Anthony Comstock*, but then Anthony might not approve of their method of bathing.

*  Anthony Comstock (1844 - 1915) was a New York morals crusader who persuaded
     both the State legislature and Congress to pass strict anti-obscenity laws.

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