HISTORY OF THE APPLETON CURLING CLUB
1939 - 1944 - Outdoor Curling in Appleton
The Appleton Curling Club was established in 1939. Ray Fallon and Harold Mather each owned a set of stones and purchased eight additional sets of used stones from the High Park Club, Toronto, Canada. Two sheets of ice were flooded on the tennis courts in Pierce Park. This proved unsatisfactory due to snow, frequent thaws, and lack of lighting.
In 1940 a concrete block chicken house was rented at the corner of Richmond Street and Highway OO. Since this was outside the city limits, the only water available was from a nearby well. Water had to be gravity-fed through 100 feet of pipe to the chicken house, where the water was then carried along the length of the building to a number of barrels, which were then dumped simultaneously on the surface. This process was repeated until fairly level ice was obtained.
During 1943 the club was outbid by a chicken raiser for the continued use of the chicken house, so outside flooding resumed on a vacant lot, with poor results. That winter the members decided to construct a curling building. A building permit and permission to locate in Pierce Park were secured.
1944 - 1960 - Curling at Pierce Park
The Appleton Curling Club at Pierce Park
Building during World War II, necessitated using salvage materials. The local Power Company and several local companies donated used poles, while the members did the construction work. The building had advanced far enough to use for curling during the 1944-45 season. Completed during the 1945-46 season, the building housed three sheets of natural curling ice. The first annual Men's Invitational Bonspiel was held in January,1946.
The Appleton Curling Club was officially incorporated in 1947. The weather that year was generally kind in the matter of dependable ice. The only soft weather period occurred, unfortunately, during the weekend of the bonspiel. At times during the bonspiel there was as much as half inch of water on the ice. This started the members thinking about refrigeration. Pipes were laid in 1951 and the building addition was completed along with the installation of the refrigeration unit in 1952.
1960 - Present - Westhill Boulevard Site
With the continued growth of the club and the increase in women's curling activities, the members realized the need for a larger, more comfortable facility. Plans were made during the 1958-59 season and work began in 1959. In mid-January,1960, the club moved into the present site on Westhill Boulevard - one block north of College Avenue.
Curling continued uninterrupted at this location even during the winter of1967, when fire gutted the clubhouse and the upstairs spectators' area. Fortunately, the compressor room and ice area were not damaged. The fire proved to be a blessing in disguise. Extensive remodeling and improvements in the clubroom, plus a unique two-level view of the ice have established Appleton as one of the finest curling facilities in Wisconsin.
The Appleton Curling Club has always been a favorite of bonspielers due to its central location. Situated only one block from Hwy 41 and College Avenue, the club boast motels, restaurants and the mall within walking distance. In addition, Appleton's downtown, and West College Avenue shopping areas are within minutes of the club.