The history of the club bears somewhat on the borders of the romantic. William Miller is the father of the club, and yet had never had a curling desire until four years ago. Then he was visiting his brother at Muskegon, and was taken out on the lake, where the Muskegon curlers had laid out their rinks. His brother insisted on his taking a part in the game and one afternoon's play made him an enthusiast. He came home with the whirr of the "stones" in his head, and eight pair of cast iron blocks to use as stones, and during the balance of the winter played a number of games with whoever he could pick up. The next year an invitation came to the secretary of the Grand Rapids Curling Club to attend a big bonspiel in Detroit. There was no Grand Rapids Curling Club, but the invitation was delivered to Mr. Miller by the postoffice people.
He opened the correspondence with the secretary of the Detroit club and said he thought he could get four curlers to attend. He was informed that it required eight men from an organized club to get into the bonspiel. After some work he got Messrs. McInnes, Sr., McNabb, Forbes, Reeves, Sherwood and Paul Sherwood together in Sweet's hotel and they organized the Grand Rapids Curling Club, Mr. Miller being made president. ("With Ice Sports Hundreds Will Spend New Year's Happily Today" The Grand Rapids Press, 1 Jan 1900)
By the time the group returned from Detroit, they were in possession of eight pairs of granite stones, tossing the cast iron blocks aside considering themselves full-fledged curlers. The article published on January 1, 1900 mentions that the curlers and skaters were all taking to the ice on New Years Day, a traditionally popular activity for the holiday. And there's even mention that the club had been preparing for the day's intra-club matches by "practicing every day, being in the full tide of the championship season."
image: George McInnes (1900). Digital image of artist sketch. Artist Unknown. "With Ice Sports Hundreds Will Spend New Year's Happily Today", Grand Rapids Press, 1 Jan. 1900.