The Hartford Curling Club, 1908 & 1915
In 2015, the Hartford Curling Club was once again incorporated in Connecticut, marking the return of one of the oldest sports organizations in the state. Our current membership will be playing at the Newington Arena, where we will be hosting league play, learning opportunities, and special events. We encourage all who are interested to check us out online or on the ice!
The original Hartford Curling Club was established in 1908 as part of the Hartford Golf Club. It was organized by Mr. Paul Thomson, who also served as its first President until his death in 1909. In 1910, under new President, William A. Sanborn, the club published a book which included its mission, rules, and membership, complete with photographs of the founding members. As we once again pursue those goals, and begin the club anew, we hope to take a page from the original mission:
The first annual of the Hartford Curling Club finds us just over the “Hog” and entering into the ring of success, we hope to reach the tee, and stand prominent within the circle of athletic sports throughout New England. Each member should act as a missionary. Get a few people interested in the game, loan them a pair of stones, show them how to play. Let us all work together for the success of our club. Let us all meet together at least once in each year. If we win laurels let us bear them modestly. If we meet defeat let us hope to do better in the future (Hartford Curling Club, 1910).
Although historical documents of the Hartford Golf Club do not include much about their curling members, records from 1913 & 1917 include a Curling Committee Chair. These records also show that the golf club used to flood and freeze the tennis courts in the winter, which is one potential location where curling took place. In addition, according to the 1913 Annual Reports of the Hartford Board of Park Commissioners (Volume 53), appropriations were made in the amount of $619.19 for a curling rink to be built at the northwest corner of the pond in Elizabeth Park. A photo courtesy of the Connecticut Historical Society illustrates a group of Hartford curlers on the ice at what appears to be Elizabeth Park.
In 1921, from an article in the Schenectady Gazette, we learned that Hartford became a member of the Grand National Curling Club (GNCC), along with the Race-Brook Curling Club of New Haven, CT. Then in 1932, during the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, curling was featured as a demonstration sport and a team from Connecticut was featured among the eight US and Canadian teams to participate. This team included Connecticut resident, Robert Pryde, a member of the Hartford Curling Club and Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame. The next recorded appearance of the club was 1949 in an article from The Putnam County Courier (Carmel, NY), when an HCC team competed in the Gordon and Emmett Medal Matches near Schenectady, NY. Described in the article as a “strong team”, Hartford fell to Lake Mahopac 17-5 in their only recorded match.
The last we record we have of the Hartford Curling Club is their incorporation, which was last registered with the State of Connecticut in 1973 and listed as forfeited. We are pleased and proud to bring back the history of this great club, re-incorporating with the State of Connecticut in 2015, and once again encourage and promote curling in the Greater Hartford Area.