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History of Curling in Ft. Wayne

Old FWCC Logo

Curling has a long and dramatic history in the City of Fort Wayne.  The story of Curling in Fort Wayne begins in 1886 and its latest chapter is in 2019 with the opening of this facility.  Through that 133+ years there was crime, disaster, dormancy and rebirth.  Beer and Clydesdales also factor into the history of the club, and it has nothing to do with Budweiser.

This is the story of curling in Fort Wayne.

In the 1880s, Brookside Farm Co. was a leading farming operation that was known for their Clydesdale horses and Angus Steer.  The President of Brookside Farm Co, was John H. Bass, a well-known Fort Wayne citizen and builder of Bass Mansion.  This isn’t a story about John Bass.  Instead, one of the other executives of Brookside Farm was their Corporate Secretary, David McKay.  In 1886, David McKay of Brookside Farm (later the site of the Bass Mansion and the University of Saint Francis) introduced the sport to the city on what is now Mirror Lake.1

By 1892, Curling was being played not only at Brookside Farm but also at Centlivre Park2, adjacent to the Centlivre Brewery.  Charles L. Centlivre, founder of the French Brewery (later the Centlivre Brewing Corporation and later the Old Crown Brewing Corp.) became a strong advocate of the sport in Fort Wayne in the years before his death in 1894.  An even stronger advocate was his son and successor, Charles F. Centlivre.  Eventually, three generations of the Centlivre family (Charles L., Charles F. and Clarence) along with Charles L.’s son-in-law, John Reuss, would be curlers in Fort Wayne.

In 1895, the Fort Wayne Curling Club constructed a covered pavilion for curling which would prevent games from being obstructed by skaters.  The pavilion was built on the river flats on land donated by Fred J. Hayden on the east side of Clinton Street adjacent to the St. Mary’s River, the current site of Headwaters Park.3

In 1897, two men, August Day and John Lee, were caught and plead guilty to stealing the brass handles from the Fort Wayne Curling Club’s curling stones and sentenced to 2 to 14 years in prison.4

By 1898, curling had expanded to Delta Lake at the current Lakeside Park5.  This meant that at that time there were 3 separate curling clubs, the Bass, Centlivre and Fort Wayne Curling Clubs.  Clubs would compete annually for the “Rink Medal”, the “Centlivre Medal” and the “Points Medal”6

In December 1903, a fire at the boat house at Lakeside Park destroyed the Fort Wayne Curling Club’s stones when the heat cracked the granite.  The club lost 16 pairs of stones in that fire that were valued at $15 to $20 per pair.  The club announced that there would likely be no curling that winter.7

By January 1904, however, the Fort Wayne Curling Club has procured 16 pairs of “Russell’s latest improved curling stones” from Toronto, Canada.  These were believed, at the time to be the best curling stones ever to be brought to the United States.8

Later in 1904, the Fort Wayne Curling Club was investigating the creation of a 5 city curling league to include Grand Rapids, Detroit, Sarnia (Ontario), Toledo and Fort Wayne.9  It is unclear if this league ever came to fruition.

In late 1905, Charles F. Centlivre funded the creation of an indoor curling facility on Griswold Avenue (now State Street) across from Northside High School (current location of Kelley Automotive Body Shop 500 E. State Blvd) at a cost of $2,800.  This facility opened in January of 1906. 10, 11, 12

 This picture shows the location of the first dedicated curling facility in Fort Wayne (the red circle just south of Northside High School).Centlivre Facility Exterior

 This picture shows the interior of this dedicated curling facility.

Centlivre Facility Interior

By 1911, the Curling facility constructed by Charles F. Centlivre was additionally being used as a practice facility by the Fort Wayne Friars football team13.  Charles F. Centlivre would later allow the use of the facility by the Battery B Battalion.  By 1912, the Fort Wayne Curling Club and Skating Rink had disappeared from the Fort Wayne City Directory.  By 1918, the address was shown to be owned by the Battery B Battallion.14

There is no further evidence that curling was played in Fort Wayne for nearly 100 years.


1. Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel – 12/22/1886 – Page 4, Column 7 – “Curling”

2. Fort Wayne Sentinel – 12/31/1892 – Page 8, Column 4 – “A lively game of curling”

3. Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette – 3/21/1895 – Page 6, Column 6 “New Club House”

4. Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette – 11/25/1897 – Page 10, Column 2 “Thieves are Sentenced”

5. Fort Wayne News – 12/14/1898 – Page 3 Column 4 “The Curlers Ready”

6. Fort Wayne Journal – 1/29/1899 – Page 3, Column 1, “Centlivre Medal”

7. Fort Wayne New – 12/9/1903 – Page 6 Column 3, “Curling Stones Burned”

8. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – 01/27/1904 – Page 10, Column 3, “Curlers Will Have Game Today”

9. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – 4/1/1904 – Page 1, Column 3, “Curling League is Assured”

10. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – 11/18/2905 – Page 4, Column 3, “Fort Wayne Curling Club”

11. Fort Wayne News – 11/21/1905 – Page 1, Column 3, “The Curlers Will Have Great Sport in Their New Rink This Winter”

12. Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel - 11/8/1905 – Page 11, Column 3, “Will Construct a Curling Rink”

13. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – 10/17/1911 – Page 6, Column 2, “Football Team Will Use Curling Rink For Practice”

14. Survey of Fort Wayne – Ft. Wayne, Ind. Vol 1 105 (98-113-119)


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3837 N. Wells Street 
Fort Wayne IN 46808


Directly across Wells Street from the Parkview Ice House

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Club Information

The Fort Wayne Curling Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers leagues for curlers of all ages and abilities, Learn to Curl sessions, private events, corporate events and activities for those with special needs. Curling is truly a sport for everyone and we hope that you will take the time to try this fantastic sport.

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