1897 - Finding Ice in Downtown Grand Rapids
The earliest known mention of a curling club in Grand Rapids appeared in The Grand Rapids Press in 1897. The article explains that the club will play its season at an outdoor curling pond located downtown at the intersection of Ottawa and Lyon Streets.
Men are at work upon the vacant property at the corner of Otawa and Lyon Streets, constructing a curling pond for the Grand Rapids Curling Club. The property is owned by Dudley E. Waters, who is one of the directors of the club, and who has granted the free use of the premises to the club for the coming season.
The basin, which is being enclosed with earthworks, is 141 feet long by 69 feet in width and three feet deep. It will be filled with water as soon as it is cold enough to freeze it over, and as soon as there is enough ice the games will commence. A place will be constructed under the Ottawa Street sidewalk in which to keep the curling stones, and dressing rooms will be erected on the premises or rented in the neighborhood. The club at present has a membership roll of thirty names. ("Fine Sport for Winter" The Grand Rapids Press, 8 Nov 1897)
Dudley E. Waters owned the property on the Southwest corner of the Ottawa & Lyon Street intersection. The property later became home to the iconic Waters Building in 1899 and still stands today at 161 Ottawa Avenue NW as the home of several local businesses and restaurants. The club would eventually construct its own dedicated facility near downtown Grand Rapids in 1903.
photo: Dudley E. Waters. ca. 1910. Photograph. Grand Rapids Public Library. Henry H. Masten Papers Coll. #10, Grand Rapids History & Special Collections. Web. Digital Image.