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Friday, January 1, 2010

International Bonspiel History

The Detroit Curling Club was founded by a bunch of disgruntled curlers in the winter of 1885 - 1886.  We jump to this conclusion because the founding gentlemen had been members of the Detroit Granite Club, The Detroit Thistle Club or The Detroit-Mackinaw Railway Curling Club.  Secondly, most of these men were also members of the Detroit Athletic Club.  This is the reason they curled their first three seasons on the grounds of the old DAC – which were bounded by Woodward, Canfield, Cass and Forest Avenue.  This author believes that these fine gentlemen had hopes that curling would become a sanctioned sport within the DAC.  This was not to be.  This may also explain why our first club President was not appointed until 1887 – 1888 (Joseph S. Keen).  So, in October 1888 they incorporated The Detroit Skating & Curling Club and purchased land at the corner of 4th and Gold

The 2010 Men’s International Bonspiel represents the 124th Anniversary of The Detroit Curling Club.  The first International Bonspiel was held at Detroit in 1897 and the first prize - The Walker Cup – was won by a Detroit team.  So, this is actually the 113th International Bonspiel.

At the January 1936 International Bonspiel the event’s program was printed on a gold colored paper and proclaimed that it was the Fiftieth Anniversary of The Detroit Curling Club.  We know of only one copy of this program which is stored at The Detroit Public Library.  From that date forward we continued to count from 50 to today’s 124th.  But, keep in mind this is the Anniversary of The Club, not the Bonspiel.

Respectively Submitted - Y’r Ob’dn’t S’vn’t,
Angus MacTavish

The Curling is a noble sport,
  Has many friends it seems.
Like every other game worth while
  It is a sport of teams.

You’re only just a team-mate,
  New curlers please take heed.
Your job is all important
  Whether you skip or lead.

Next time that you are at the Rink
  Forget that old score card,
And concentrate on sweeping –
  Draw that shot and lay that guard.

You’ll always be in great demand,
  Good skips will always choose
Members that play the game for keeps,
  And promptly pay their dues.

Geo. Lawton 1941

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