This is the interior of the Golden Curling Rink during a masquerade skating party. Built by local builder James Henderson in 1898

This is the interior of the Golden Curling Rink during a masquerade skating party. Built by local builder James Henderson in 1898

Turning Back the Pages: How curling started in Golden

Colleen Palumbo looks back at how curling came to Golden over 100 years ago.

Thank you to Julia Cundliffe for bringing in this letter hand written by Thomas King. It tells the story of the beginnings of curling in Golden.

During the late 1880’s a few men had settled in Golden who had enjoyed the game of curling in their previous locations and to get the game started here they has a club formed, bought two tents 16 feet wide and 80 feet long, put them end to end and this made one sheet of regulation size. The rings then covered 14 feet of ice – some years later reduced to 12 feet. This was used for a couple of seasons when they built a frame rink. Then they decided it should be a two rink building with accommodation also for skating. This very large building was built in the summer and fall of 1898 by contractor Mr. James Henderson Sr. for the cost of $2,500. The first season it was used they had a curling sheet in the outside of the skating ice in the centre. They played some hickey and had to put wire netting on both sides and at the end next to the waiting room. This did not seem very satisfactory so for the next season they added a lean to on at that west end so they could skate around the outside and curl in the middle. This was much more satisfactory and fifty to sixty skaters were enjoying the outside circuit every night but no more hockey inside.

The community carried on under the Charter of the Golden Rink Co. and in later years made repairs and additions to the building so that when vacated it was more satisfactory than in the early years – but on the outside it looked very bad.

Even in the early 1890’s Golden was well represented at the Calgary Bonspiel – the nearest curling club to Golden, The principal players going there the first few years were Wm NcNeish, C.A. Warren, H.G. Parson, Capt. Bacon – the latter was Golden’s star lead never having played at any other position in his twenty years with the club.

Other early day players were Manuel Dainard, Walter Dainard, Dave Rae, Hon F.W. Aylmer, Gordon Brock, Jack Buckham, Doctor Taylor, Thomas King, Sam King, Harry Pugh, Alex Smith, Geo Sinclair, Geo B. McDermot, J.E. Griffith, James Sherlock, Wynn Griffith, Bob Stalker, Fred Stalker, George Woodley. J.G. Bullock came here from Schrieber NW Ontario where he operated a general store was the best curler we had here in the early days. He came here in 1898 and in partnership with his brother in law to be they operated the Kootenay House Hotel. We played points every Friday night in the real early years and he was a consistent winner. In this game every shot known to curling is played. It was a treat to see him play.

Since the time of the players mentioned the turnover of curlers has numbered into the hundreds in the 71 years since I joined the club here. I played for 68 seasons with the Golden Club establishing a worlds record as far as can be ascertained.