A sport that thrived in Pardeeville and still is popular is Curling. Back in the 1870s, the game was played outdoors.
There were indications that there was Curling in the Pardeeville area before the Civil War, but no actual facts are known. Authentic records of the first organization of the club have been lost or destroyed, however, the Grand National Curling Club of America lists Pardeeville as having a rink entered in the National competition in 1872. Newspaper articles from the early 1880s report league games, and visits by “the boys of Wyocena” for curling competition. The date used by the club (1875) is certainly not too early and it may be some years after the actual beginning of the club.
The first sheets of ice were laid out on Park Lake probably in the small bay near the electrical dam on Main Street (by the former Lakeside Mobil gas station). One report from an old time curler, C.W. Merrill, speaks of a “curling house” where the filling station how stands.
The first curling rink was located on the southwest corner of Chandler Park. In 1922, a building was built bordering Park Lake behind the village offices on the corner of Lake & Second Streets. Artificial ice was installed in the ice house in 1938. In the 1950s, the original wooden building was torn down so a new concrete building could be built. Since that major addition, the clubroom was enlarged, the lobby was remodeled, and the entire building was insulated. Heat and a dehumidifier were added to the ice house in the 2000s – big difference to the origins of curling in Pardeeville.
When curling started in Pardeeville, only men participated. In 1953, women were invited to curl for the first time when they participated in the Screwball Bonspiel for club members. The women’s organization, the “Pardee Pipers”, began in 1960. Through operation of the kitchen, the women curlers have contributed financially to the progress of the club, and through their time and effort, have done much to improve the comfort and attractiveness of the club. The Pardee Pipers disbanded in 1987 when the women’s organization merged with the men to form one board of directors to oversee the workings of the club.
If you have any old photos or memorabilia of Pardeeville curling that you would like to donate to the Pardeeville Curling Club, please contact Vicki Griepentrog or email info@PardeevilleCurlingClub.com