The Mississippi Curling Rink After “The Island”

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An early curling picture from curlinghistory.blogspot.com— This is not from Lanark County- but in the late 1800s they used to curl on an outdoor rink was made on the Mississippi River opposite the fairgrounds

 

1942

A group of curling enthusiasts formed a club under the name of Mississippi Curling Rink Ltd. They raised funds, acquired a mortgage and built a new three-sheet rink on the “market” facing onto Brae Street, which they rented to the Almonte Curling Club (ACC).

1970

During the summer, negotiations were continuing with the Mississippi Rink Co., Ltd.(see today’s story on the old Almonte rink) But, to the chagrin of ACC members, the company sold the property to a commercial firm and liquidated the Limited company. Therefore, there was no place for the members to curl.

 

December 16, 1954, The Almonte Gazette

Renovated Rink With Artificial Ice Is Formally Opened By Local Curler’s On Wednesday

Following a short ceremony on Wednesday evening, when veteran curler Mr. J. H. Martin cut the ribbon and president M. R. Young threw the first granite, the Mississippi Curling Club was declared open for its 101st season. Mr. Young presided over a large gathering of members of the men’s and lady’s clubs which filled both rooms. He explained the chain of events leading up to the climax of curling in Almonte, a renovated rink with three sheets of artificial ice, a new second storey club room with a modern kitchen for the ladies and men’s club room newly decorated. ”

When the installation of artificial ice was talked of in April,” said Mr. Young, “this one and that one offered to give $100.00 However another man said “I’ll give a thousand dollars.” and that gave the club the heeded encouragement. He gave credit to canvassers and special praise to the building committee who had given most generously of their time. The building committee is composed of Mr. M. R. Young, chairman, J. L. Erskine, S.R. Sissons, Major J. H. W. Currie, and Murray Comba. The next speaker was Mr. W.A. Metcalfe, who expressed great pleasure in the fact that the Mississippi Curling Club’s greatest need, the installation of artificial ice, was now attained.

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Men curling in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1909-Wikiwand

Mr. Metcalfe assured the audience that it was in large measure due to the untiring efforts of their president, Mr. Young, that the present happy state was reached. Mr. Young, he said, had stood by curling in good days and the bad days and is now in his 19th term as president. He called on Mr. James Miller of Carlton Place, District Representative of the Caledonia Club who brought greetings from the mother club and also extended his personal congratulations.

The next speaker was Mr. George L. Comba, who traced the history of the Mississippi Curling Club from its humble beginnings 100 years ago to today. Mr. Comba he was indebted to Mr. G. W. Willoughby of Ottawa, former resident of Almonte, who is now in his 96th year, for much of his information of the early days.

Mr. Willoughby was an ardent curler as was his father before him, and was able to recall many interesting incidents. Curling began here, said Mr. Comba on the mouth of the Indian River and wooden blocks were used as stones. Later, an outdoor rink was made on the Mississippi River opposite the fairgrounds, and the first closed rink was on a site on or near the present fairgrounds.

The next rink was on “The Island” (see today’s story)  a combination building which housed the skating rink as well as the curling rink. That building was outmoded the present structure was then erected at Brae Street. This was operated successfully for a growing membership which brings the club up to date. A point stressed by Mr. Comba that should be of principal pride to local curlers, is that the Mississippi Club stands in 6th place on the roster of the Caledonia Club. He said the present membership has great traditions to maintain, but predicted continued success through co-operation for the next hundred years.

 

historicalnotes

December 16, 1954–During the evening a sing-song was enjoyed with Mrs. Harry Walker at the piano and Mrs. R.A. Jamieson, Mr. Martin Maxwell, and Mr. George Rodger leading. Mrs. Doris DeSadeleer contributed a humorous solo. “This Old Rink Was Getting Shaky” with Mrs. Harry Walker as accompanist. At the close, Mr. Young thanked the Lady’s Club for their efforts and all others who had assisted, with special thanks to Mr. Arthur Lockhart who gave his time in painting free of charge, and also Mr. Charles Finner for bringing his PA system

Almonte Curling Club History-click here

MAYOR GEORGE L. COMBA WHO presided over the civic administration of Almonte during the most depressing period in its history. He will probably be returned to office by acclamation at the nominations Friday nigh

COMBA, George L. – At Almonte on Tuesday, May 21, 1957, George L. Comba, beloved husband of Emily Mason, father of Murray Comba, Almonte; (Emily) Mrs. Donald Blanchard, of Bristol, Quebec; and brother of (Jean) Mrs. David Rankin, Trenton, New Jersey; (Phyllis), Mrs. Emil Zarella of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Charles of Calgary, Alberta, and William of Port Arthur. Resting at his home, Church St., Almonte. Funeral service Friday, May 24, at 2 p.m. at the Almonte United Church. Interment Auld Kirk cemetery. Masonic service at his home, Almonte, Thursday evening, May 23, at 8 o’clock. In lieu of lowers please send contributions to Naismith Memorial Hospital Fund.

Ex-Mayor of Almonte, George L. Comba, Passes – A well-known resident and one-time mayor of Almonte, George L. Comba died in hospital Tuesday of last week after a short illness. He was 66. Born in Pakenham, he was a son of the late Charles Comba and Sarah Jane Dunlop. He was educated in Almonte schools. Prior to enlisting in the RAF in the First World War, Mr. Comba was a prospector in British Columbia. While overseas in 1917, he married the former Emily Louise Mason at London, England. He returned to Canada in 1919, and opened a furniture and undertaking business in Almonte. Mr. Comba left the furniture business in 1943, and carried on with the undertaking business with his son. Mr. Comba at one time was mayor and reeve of Almonte and formerly warden of Lanark County. He served as secretary-treasurer of North Lanark Agricultural Society, and had been secretary of Almonte Public School Board and East Lanark High School Area for 37 years. He was honorary president of the Canadian Legion, Almonte Branch, and a charter member of that organization. He was also director of the N.L.A.S. He was a member of the United Church, Granite Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, past patron of Eastern Star, belonged to the Shriners of the Ottawa Temple; was a member of Almonte Curling Club, Almonte Lawn Bowling Club, Gemmill Park Commission and Almonte Library Board. He leaves in addition to his wife, one son, Murray, Almonte; one daughter, Mrs. Don (Emily) Blanchard, Bristol, Quebec;. two brothers, Charles, Calgary, and William H., Port Arthur; two sisters, Mrs. David (Jean) Rankin, Trenton, N.J., and Mrs. Emil (Phyllis) Zarella, Gerard College, Philadelphia. The body rested at the Comba Funeral Home, Almonte, from where the funeral left to Almonte United Church for service at 2 p.m., Friday, May 24. Rev. J. R. Anderson officiated. Burial was in Auld Kirk.

 

Related reading:

Perth Courier, Feb. 15, 1889

Mr. James Templeton, 85 years of age, while on a visit here, made an appearance at the Perth curling rink and played for a time with much skill.  He has been a curler for 67 years—an ordinary man’s lifetime.

Perth Courier, March 6, 1885

Mr. F. B. Allan was the winner this year of the gold medal presented for the yearly competition by Mr. William Lees, M.P.P. to the Perth Upon Tay Curling Club.

 

Related reading:

The Almonte Skating Rink on “The Island”

 

Want to read about the Carleton Place Curling Club?

Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 6– Fire and Ice

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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