The Philadelphia Curling Club traces its origins to an evening meeting in the winter of 1957, when a few friends gathered to discuss formation and organization of a curling club. Everyone endorsed the idea and each contributed to a fund that was used to purchase two sets of the 42 pound granite curling stones. The group curled on rented ice in Villanova for two enjoyable months that winter. In February of 1957, the Philadelphia Curling Club was formally organized. In March of 1958, the Club was incorporated with charter members.
The hearty enthusiasm of these charter members is well documented by the fact that they curled under considerable constraints for six years, sharing the hockey rink in Villanova. The 1965-1966 season was the first in which the club’s curlers could display their finesse on their own ice, in their own building. This was an accomplishment built on substantial work and personal contributions of time, talent, and money. A building lot was purchased from the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company in 1964 and ground was broken in November of that year.
The original club house structure included two sheets of ice and a small warming room. In 1971, the clubhouse was enlarged, with the addition of a kitchen, basement locker rooms, and a new entrance. All of the lighter work went into completing and improving the building (e.g., painting, panelling, carpeting) was done by our own members.
During the summer of 1976, the base, foundation piping and slab was completely rebuilt by the hard work of the members. Seventy tons of sand was removed and the new base was covered with four inches of styrofoam, two layers of plastic, and two inches of concrete before the piping was positioned.
In the fall of 1981, the club house was enhanced by the addition of our trophy and pin case as well as the new bulletin board.
In the summer of 2003, an aluminum sheet ceiling was installed to help against the humidity battle.
In the summer of 2010, a new ice surface was installed upon the one installed by our members in 1976. The 34 year old piping was beginning to fail. The new floor includes new piping, new manifolds, and a change of the original ice making equipment that had served the club very well for more than 45 years. The organization of the ice shed reconstruction and equipment replacement was completed by our members; but the labor given the expertise needed to install the new equipment was aided by electrical, mechanical and general contractors.
The Philadelphia Curling Club still takes pride in being a “do-it-ourselves” club. Whether it is a matter of maintaining the premises, creating and caring for the ice, or preparing the fine dinners sponsored by the Philadelphia Belles, the members do it themselves.