Several men gathered together to form a club to get curling established in Grand Rapids. They met for a long time before they ever had a club building or ice to curl on. There were about 8-10 charter members, which included Wally Froemming, Gordy Brumwell, and Tony Caucci. Ironically, Brumwell was transferred out of the area and he never did get to curl in Itasca Curling Club.
Finally, Itasca Curling Club was incorporated in 1968. The organization still did not have a club building but they did have a place to curl – outside under the grandstands at the fairgrounds. This was a very “rustic” setting and did not have any bathroom facilities. Therefore, the curlers had to use the fresh outdoors for their bathroom needs. Many jokes were made about the “yellow snow”. There were only 6 chairs for spectators to watch the game. Curling was new to everyone, very informal, and often curling protocol was not followed as curlers just didn’t know the rules of courtesy. Often someone would step into the house and ask the skip, “Why did you do that?”
Disaster struck when the bleachers burned down and the curlers no longer had a place to curl. There was a year or more of no curling for the Itasca Curling Club while they searched for a place to curl. They looked at vacated iron ore mining buildings and even a huge barn offered by a local farmer. The club members did lots of fundraising and built a club in its present location in 1973.
In January of 1997, disaster struck once again. The club was holding a men’s bonspiel, the curlers had just left the ice and were in the clubrooms when the roof caved in from an overload of heavy snow. There was no curling the rest of the year.
The club was rebuilt in 1998, making the clubrooms larger AND making the sheets of ice regulation size. Leagues resumed curling in 1999 and are still going strong today. The club retains about 125 members and has four sheets of ice. It is located at 902 Hale Lake Pointe in Grand Rapids. We continue to make improvements in the club and continue to grow our membership.
Come join us! Good curling!