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Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

Little did our Clyde River History Committee know when we worked on cataloguing and photographing artifacts in our community museum two years ago that we were ahead of our time. The COVID-19 pandemic has launched many of us into a virtual world, which has made us, hopefully, much more comfortable with what it has to offer. Even though we are not sure when we will once again host history events at the community centre, we can bring you a virtual tour of our museum and heritage photo collections. I think we have something for everyone.

We invite you to view our artifacts and heritage photo albums. This virtual tour could make for an interesting interactive activity for all of us. Under each photo in the galleries, you will see a comment box. We would be delighted if you added any details, memories and stories as you view individual photos. We have also included a link to an audio exhibit, so you can sit back and listen as well.

We will be adding more photos over the next months, as we have almost 3000 digital photos in our collection which we plan to bring online.

 

Community Artifacts:

For any of you who have visited our physical museum, you know what an interesting collection we have and the memories and stories that come to mind as you view them. Some visitors have commented that it feels like a visit to their grandparent’s place. You will see a variety of items from Clyde River that were generously donated by local families and relatives living throughout Canada and the US. Items include cameras, handicrafts, school books, autograph books, blankets, community store items, tools and personal items. Link here to view gallery.

 

Cups & Saucers:

Most all of our cup and saucer collection was donated to the museum by Elizabeth Osborne. It was her mother’s, Olive (Livingstone) Osborne who grew up on the Baltic Road. However, I think many of you will quickly recognize that the patterns resemble your own mother’s or grandmother’s collection. Our history committee member Rowena Stinson has a vast knowledge of cups and saucers, so if you have any questions, please let us know and we will do our best to answer them. Link here to view gallery.

 

North River Rink Hockey:

One of our most popular photo galleries in the history of our website has been Memories of North River Rink, so this could be a good time for the men in our audience to look through the gallery and offer comments and stories on individual photos. You will definitely find many people you know. We added names under the photos to assist you. Link here to view gallery.

 

War History:

The Great War: For war history buffs, we have something for you as well. You can read letters written by a soldier from The Great War and listen to each of the letters voiced by Alan Buchanan. Even in our two months of lockdown, which is a mere glimpse of how our society can be interrupted by a world event, I think we will have even more appreciation of the unbelievable resilience these solders had, along with their families waiting at home. They went in thinking they were only going to fight a war for a few months and go home. To read and listen, link here.

WWII Naval History: For naval history buffs, here is a story and photos from HMCS Prince Henry on patrol off the coast of South America. Link here.

 

Genealogy:

Next to hockey, our most popular stories relate to genealogy. Here are a few links that will satisfy the genealogist in the family, if they happen to have any connections to our area. We regularly receive emails from those researching family history. Our committee loves to help out and we have accumulated quite a bit of knowledge along the way. And what we don’t know, we usually know someone who does.

  • Clyde River Pioneer Cemetery with photos – link here
  • McArthur Cemetery with photos – link here
  • Cemetery stories – link to category of stories here.
  • Genealogy stories – link to category of stories here.

 

General Community History:

Scrapbooks: Here are stories and photos from community scrapbooks – link here.

General stories related to Clyde River and area history: We now have over 700 stories on our site and 460 of those stories are related to history, so we invite you to delve in to our online library of stories – link here.

The Clyde River History Committee would like to thank you all for your contribution to our physical and virtual museum. We hope you enjoy your visit.

 

Want to contribute to our Virtual Museum?

If you have artifacts or heritage photos that you would like to add to our collection, please let us know. Set aside any artifacts you wish to donate until after the pandemic, but please send any scans of heritage photos to clyderiverpei@eastlink.ca in the meantime.

If you are interested in sharing photos of artifacts that will remain in your family’s collection, we would love to see snapshots of them for interest sake and make them a part of our virtual gallery – we will just indicate that they are part of a private collection. A few photo hints: if it is a small piece, just set on a white sheet in a naturally lit area and take a landscape style photo. If it is a larger piece, take a landscape shot of the object using natural lighting. We can always adjust and crop photos after. If you have any questions, please let us know.

 

Interested in participating in a Virtual History Huddle?

We would be open to hosting an online history circle (huddle) if there is enough interest. We could use a platform such as GoToMeeting or Zoom. We would definitely be happy to organize. We could establish a theme and each participant could share their research/comments on the topic. It could be an interesting experiment, as we have a broad geographic website audience. If you are interested, please email clyderiverpei@eastlink.ca and let us know what subjects you would be interested in discussing. The only criteria is it would have to some how relate to the history of Clyde River and area. Depending on the topic, we could invite a special guest with expertise in the area.

In the meantime, please enjoy the virtual museum tour and stay safe.

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Read the history, hear the stories and see the photos…

The following story is the history of North River Rink which Ronnie MacKinley presented to an audience of almost 100 at the Clyde River History lectures on February 20th. To listen to Ronnie’s full presentation which includes many stories, you can link here. The recording also features Neil Shaw who, along with a group of businessmen, managed the rink after Hollis Corney. Sterling MacRae added a few stories of his years of hockey at the rink.

Many of the alumni players attended this Clyde River lecture and they brought along memorabilia and photos which we scanned and collected on this site. Just click on the album cover photo and you can advance through the extensive collection. Many of the people are identified in the photos, but for those that are not, we welcome you to add comments to let us know who you recognize. If you have any other photos that you wish to add to the album, please send to vivian@eastlink.ca.

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Click on photo to see the full album of photos and memorabilia.

North River Rink:

During the 1940s, the North River area was lacking an ice rink. There was a converted factory in Cornwall that served as a rink but it has fallen into disrepair and an outdoor rink was constructed. Fultie Warren, a local farmer and businessman, felt that an outdoor rink was not reliable to promote quality hockey, so in 1948, he and Bruce MacKinley decided to build a rink in North River to serve this and all surrounding communities.

Fultie, his father and brother operated a sawmill in Warren Grove and just needed a large stand of trees to provide adequate lumber for the truss rafters. With the help of Paddy McGee, they found a tree lot in Emyvale and Fultie signed a contract on a stump to cut four acres. The cost was $270.

In the winter of 1948-49, Fultie hired group of 30-40 men to cut the lumber, haul it out through John Cusack’s field and pile it on John F. McQuaid’s property. In the Summer of 1949, the lumber was moved to the mill for sawing and then over to the construction site.

They decided to build the rink on the corner of Bruce MacKinley’s farm at the corner of what is now the Trans Canada Highway and York Point Road. Heber Campbell took the job as main carpenter and a crew of over 30 men worked on the site during the fall of 1949. The men cutting the lumber and constructing the rink were paid either 50 cents an hour or they took shares in the rink at $10/share. Fultie kept track of all the hours from the woods to the sawmill to the rink to make sure all the men were fairly paid.

When it was time to install the truss rafters, they hired Douglas Bros. & Jones who had the equipment to lift the huge rafters into position. Apparently, the process was rushed and no one on the site had worked with such huge rafters. Just as the workers were about to stop work one evening, eleven rafters came crashing down. It was a miracle no one was badly injured.

When the roof was finally completed in early January, Fultie and his crew had to wait for cold weather before they could flood the rink. They were having a mild winter and it was impossible to level the ice surface due to mud. On January 8th, the temperature took a sharp drop, and Fultie flooded the ice surface with a foot of water before he had it level. The following night, on January 9th, the North River Rink opened for business. For the next 22 years, Fultie and Bruce spent many cold hours operating the rink.

Maintaining the rink was intense and cold work. They were kept busy into the wee hours. In the beginning, they pumped water from a pond on the MacKinley’s farm, located north of the rink. However, when the Trans Canada highway was constructed between the rink and the pond, they drilled two wells to supply the rink. The owners not only had to maintain the ice, but they had to operate the ticket box and canteen.

North River rink was open six days a week and closed on Sunday. The hockey season ran from December until May. Besides running the rink and counting money until the wee hours of the morning, Fultie had a dairy farm to manage and he was president of the “C” league where he helped to organize the “school league” minor hockey program.

The revenue generated from the rink was shared between the teams and owners on a percentage basis. All the profits either flowed back into the operation or paid out in dividends to the shareholders. Fultie said his only pay cheque from the rink was during the last year; it was $100.

After 22 years of managing all hockey activities at North River Rink, the owners decided to sell the rink to the local communities. When the deal fell through, they sold the property to a Hollis Corney, a shoe retailer and entrepreneur. Hollis controlled all aspects of the business. He was a familiar figure with his long coat and overshoes. He took money at the door, worked in the canteen, and drove the zamboni.

Hollis modernized the rink by installing artificial ice. He brought in the first zamboni to PEI. By 1975, there was seating for 1400. Ronnie recalled during the early days before the expansion, there would be more than that watching a game in the small rink and he can’t imagine how they all fit inside. The farmers would stop grading potatoes to take in the game.

Hollis rented out the ice for $22/hour and was busy as the only other rinks in the area were UPEI and the Forum in Charlottetown. As well as minor hockey, Hollis hosted High School hockey. The Kennedy’s – Forbie, Jamie and Jake – offered a hockey school program each Spring. Hollis introduced Junior Hockey and for several years, the Junior North Stars were a powerhouse and fan favourite, packing the rink.

Hollis also hosted skating events for the general public and local schools. In the off season, he organized roller skating. Later he held wrestling matches.

After running the rink for thirteen years, Hollis leased the rink to Virgo Enterprises a community business group. Neil Shaw told the story of when they took over the rink.

  • Listen to the presentation featuring Ronnie MacKinley, Neil Shaw and Sterling MacRae, click here
  • View the photo album featuring photos and memorabilia, click here

Editor’s Note:

We would like to make a list of all the teams that played at North River Rink. We will begin a partial list below, but we want to hear from you to help us complete the list. Also, send any photos you have. Please email vivian@eastlink.ca.

  1. Milton Hornets
  2. Kingston Crystals
  3. Fairview Aces
  4. Nine Mile Creek Bulldogs
  5. Hampshire Bulldogs
  6. Clow’s Red & White
  7. Sanderson’s Sabres
  8. Bonnie Brae Chargers
  9. North Stars
  10. Bluefield Bobcats
  11. Island Sandblasting – Green Machine
  12. Dunstaffnage Comets
  13. Dollar Home Improvement Flames
  14. Island Excavators Minor Junior Team
  15. Dutch Inn Senior League

We welcome you to leave comments below of your memories of North River Rink.

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