The Indoor Rink

The First Rink

The first rink in Cornwall was a closed-in rink. It was located on the Ferry Road on the site of the former cheese factory, which was on the north side of the road just before the bridge. It was said that the old cheese factory was converted to a skating rink. Although, there is some uncertainty on behalf of the researcher as to whether the rink was in fact the same building as the cheese factory or if it was a different building altogether. There are several sources in favor of each theory. Ninety-four year old Herbert Scott remembers working on the roof of the indoor rink with his father. He also remembers making the ice.1 Whether the rink was the same building as the cheese factory or not, it seems to have been in operation from about 1924 to 1940.2 The location was ideal as it was already near a well and the nearby creek and mill pond were a good source of water for flooding.3 An interesting fact about this rink is that the dressing rooms were located on the 2nd storey of the rink. The few residents who remember the first rink, indicated that there was a small fee (15 cents4) to use the rink.

Although there was time for leisure skating at the rink, hockey was played more often than not. When referring to the rink, Louis MacDonald told Dutch Thompson in an interview, “Oh it was a life saver in the 30’s!” Many communities had their own hockey teams. In Cornwall they were known as the CCCs, or the Cornwall Community Club which was later changed to the Meteors.5 Some of the other teams in the surrounding areas included the Victoria Unions, the Nine Mile Creek Bulldogs,6 and a team in North River7 . Some of the members of the CCC’s were; Louis MacDonald, Gordon MacMillan, Norman Hyde, Louis Doyle, Alex MacPhail, Jack Scott,8 and Herbert Scott. Louis stated that Gordon was intimidating to the members of the opposing team, not because he was left-handed playing right wing, but because he could shoot at any angle and make unexpected shots.

There was also an occasion when the men’s team played one-handed against the women of the community. Louis MacDonald tells a story of that particular event (see ‘Personal Accounts’). The closed in rink lasted until 1939 or 40. By that time the rickety old building was falling into disrepair and men were signing up for the Second World War.9 The building eventually fell down and another rink was created not too far away on the Meadow Bank Road.

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