It’s Wayback Wednesday, sponsored by Jamie Lockwood, broker/owner of Sutton Group Muskoka Realty!
Photo and details courtesy of Dennis Rolland, Huntsville Curling Club.
Pictured above is the Old Huntsville Memorial Arena in 1946. The arena was the home of the curling club from 1940 to 1947.
The first Huntsville curling club was built in 1900 on property owned by CO Shaw, the club’s patron, at the southeast corner of Centre and Mary streets. It was a large wooden structure, 30’ x 150’, that collapsed from snow load in 1910.
As a result, there would be no curling in Huntsville from 1910 until 1940.
On February 18, 1937, Huntsville was emerging from the Great Depression. After 27 years without curling, Allan White organized a meeting to see how many citizens were interested in curling once again. There was great interest. Over the course of several meetings in the spring of 1937, a board of directors was elected: president Allan T. White, vice president C.A. Booth, secretary George F. Hutcheson, and committee members Leo Rogers, William Stephenson, Dr. J.P. Davies, and Ran Jupp.
In 1937, White, along with the club’s vice president and secretary, were authorized by the members to arrange for “plans and specifications” of a new rink. The group completed the blueprints and plans for construction. Before 1937 ended, members had collected $2,100 towards the cost of building estimated at $4,500. The group secured an “option” with the town to build on the original site of the 1900-1929 curling club situated on the southeast corner of Centre Street and Mary Street.
It was anticipated that the club would have approximately 50 members. There was much excitement. The Huntsville Forester editorial at the time read, “The Organization of a Curling Club in Huntsville will provide citizens with an opportunity to enjoy one of winter’s greatest pastimes.”
For the next four years, the organizing committee worked diligently with the town, without success, to secure a site to erect the new curling rink.
During this time, the Second World War began in 1939. An opportunity presented itself to both the town and the club.
With the outbreak of the war, the town’s arena was underutilized. The town invited the curling club to be a shared tenant of the arena, to rent ice time. It was December 4, 1940. The curling club was allotted two time slots on Thursday afternoon and evening at the covered arena. In 1940 the Huntsville Curling Club established themselves as a member of the Ontario Curling Association, 40 years after it was founded in 1900.
In 1940, membership fees were $7.50 if you brought your own stones or $8.50 without your own stones. There were no draws that year. The teams played together for the entire season. As was the custom in 1940, the dinner was served at the expense of losing teams.
By December 1941, the club had 64 members enrolled.
Then, in 1947, the Department of Northern Development building at 6 Landsdowne, now 6 Veterans Way, was purchased by the members of the day. They converted the building into a two-sheet club. That building burned to the ground in 1951. The current building was built that same year and reopened January 10, 1952.
Do you have any old photos or stories to share about the curling club? If you do, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705-789-4571 to make other arrangements.
See more Wayback Wednesday photos here.
Correction: This post has been updated with the correct spelling of George F. Hutcheson.
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