Curling got off to a rock solid start in 1927

 In Opinion

Just a year ago The Creemore Echo had many pictures of the winners of various curling foursomes. What a difference a year makes.
I am sure that with the long and proud history of curling in Creemore that the sport will continue. And so too will other activities. Soon there will be bare patches of ground showing and there will be children out making the most of it.
Previously you have read about hockey in Creemore but here is a survey of other sports in the 1900 to 1930 era.
Curling, now a winter “must” among a large number of local enthusiasts, got its start in the winter of 1927 when the “pros and cons of the ancient Scottish game were discussed among curls of smoke.”
An executive was elected and the secretary was to enquire about prices for rocks and other equipment.
The budding club played on the ice surface of the old arena on Mill Street. Because the rink was used by hockey players and skaters the ice was not pebbled.
Somehow the hockey players and the curlers managed to  understand the red and blue lines on the ice surface.
The end of the season was marked with the usual bonspiel, four teams competing. Afterwards they dined on oysters at Harry Woods’ store.
The local paper reported that “probably twenty pairs of rocks are now owned by the village and considerable enthusiasm prevails.”
For a few years a lawn tennis club operated in the village. A report in 1907 indicated that the club was in good shape financially indicating that the club must have been in existence earlier.
I have found no written explanations about where the tennis court was located but local lore has it that it was in the field  behind the Anglican Church.
The local newspaper mentioned  the group between 1908 and 1912. “The players visited other towns as well as playing among themselves. On one occasion four players went to Tottenham and won only two games out of six.”
After 1912 no reports were found.
Football claimed the attention of a few for a short time. In 1908 the Argonauts and Websterville teams came to Creemore on a Friday evening to play. It wasn’t until 1912 that the game was mentioned again.
At that time a Nottawasaga league was organized and included Stayner, Creemore, Fourth Line and Sixth Line. I believe that this football game was played by different rules from today’s game.
Baseball appears to have been of greater importance over the years than tennis or football. A 1909 report revealed that baseball had been a popular game for many years.
The report read, The appearance of our ball team in neat suits of grey recalled the time when twenty years ago, Creemore Greys used to wallop all and sundry”
Although the ball team did not get all the press that the hockey team received  yet accounts year after year indicate the Creemore teams were always in existence.
In 1914, “The Alliston baseball team came up to play a friendly game with our boys.” In 1916, “the Grey Socks upheld their reputation by defeating Mansfield at a Terra Nova picnic.” Dundalk was another team they played.
A league was in operation in 1922 when the report of a Creemore-Collingwood game proved that the local team was a strong one.
“The strong Creemore team that has won thirteen of sixteen games found their match in the Collingwood boys and the best they could do was a lucky tie.”
Local  interest in ball was evident for many years when the King’s Birthday was celebrated the first week of June.
Headlines blazed “King’s Birthday Royally Celebrated by Largest Crowd  Ever. Baseball and Softball Games Well Patronized.”
The crowd was estimated at 2000. Four crack baseball teams contended for the laurels in the tournament: Meaford, Ivy, Mansfield and Creemore.  In the girls’ softball  contest six teams faced the ump: Penetang, Edenvale, New Lowell, Ivy, Glen Huron and Creemore.
By dark on a long June evening Creemore men’s team was declared the winner. The Penetang girls came out in first place.
Lawn bowling had its annual tournament in 1924 possibly suggesting that the Bowling Club was in existence a year or two previously.
The club house and greens were directly north of St. Luke’s Anglican Church.
The property was reached by the church driveway. In that year, 1924, twenty-four teams entered and bowling continued from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.
Lights had been installed to allow for play after dark. The Jamieson trophy was presented to the Creemore club by J.E. Jamieson, local MPP.
I recall being at the club house in the 1940s when my father and others were grooming the greens. At a later date the club house was moved to Collingwood Street where it was remodelled into a house.

Helen Blackburn is a retired teacher, avid gardener and a long-time contributor to the Creemore Echo. She writes about local history.

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