December 25, 1891: Walter Brown throws the Duluth Curling Club’s first stone

On this day in Duluth in 1891, Walter Brown threw the first official curling stone for the Duluth Curling Club. The group had formed earlier that year as the Duluth Curling & Skating Club. Members built its first rink atop the ruins of Elevator A at Third Avenue East and Michigan Street, but it wasn’t ready that Christmas day in 1891—and when it was, it was little more than two retaining walls covered by a tent. The club had recently acquired sixteen sets of curling stones, which Jimmy Moon—a champion bagpiper—claimed were “bonnie ones.” Without a proper rink and anxious to throw those new stones, curlers cleared snow on St. Louis Bay at the foot of Eighth Avenue West (just west of today’s Bayfront Park stage) so they could play a few games on the Yule. The Club’s first officers, elected three days later, included H. Hardan, Colin Campbell, Alec McRae, W. McCulluch, A. S. Wilson, Ronald Hunter (founder of Hunter’s Park), R. J. McLoed, James “Jimmy” Moon, and of course Walter Brown. They also welcomed new members H. A. Ware, J. D. Howard, George C. Howe, W. P. Heimbaugh, C. J. West, T. H. Quimby, and Robert Fitzgerald. The Third Street rink was destroyed in a blizzard the following year. Read more about the Duluth Curling Club here.