Introduction to Rochester

Curling came to Rochester in 1961 when Lewis A. Elkin, manager of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) skating rink, read about a group of Kodak employees who had gone to Toronto for a curling match with their Canadian colleagues. He conceived an idea of a curling clinic and bonspiel to introduce curling to Rochester. He called upon two of the Kodakers, Ralph Sutherland and George Greer, to help him.

The first Rochester International Bonspiel and Curling Clinic took place April 14-16, 1961. Rinks from Utica (New York) and Niagara Falls (Ontario) brought their own stones, hacks, and brooms. Several Rochesterians filled out the ranks of these participating rinks, most of whom were Kodakers who had previously curled.

RCC begins

The endeavor was a success, and Elkin then called upon the local group to help him found a curling club. The first meeting was held at Locust Hill Country Club on June 21, 1961, and the name "Rochester Curling Club" was selected.

The Nine Charter Members were:

  • Lowel Ahrendsen
  • Louis C. Bartell
  • Paul J. Beck, Jr.
  • Frank P. Benz
  • George H. Greer
  • Henry J. Jansen
  • Willard C. Knight
  • Jay B. Moses, M.D.
  • Ralph A. Sutherland

Bartell was elected president pro-tem and Sutherland secretary and treasurer. RIT offered ice time at their Ritter-Clark rink every Sunday morning on a pay-as-you-play basis.

Curling began October 8, 1961, with RIT providing stones, brooms, and scoreboards. In the Spring of 1962 the by-laws were adopted and the first official Board of Directors was named:

  • Ralph Sutherland
  • James Dickie
  • Jay Moses, M.D.
  • Dr. Ted Max
  • Robert Tomb
  • Richard Hotham
  • Eugene Charles
  • Fred Beiber
  • Henry Jansen

The Board in turn elected Ralph Sutherland president, Jay Moses M.D. vice-president, Richard Hotham secretary, and Eugene Charles treasurer.

The second Rochester International Bonspiel was held April 13-14, 1962, with rinks from Schenectady; Winchester; Niagara Falls, Ontario and Utica participating. A second curling clinic was held October 4 and 7, 1962, followed by an exhibition at the Honeoye Winter Carnival (January 25-26, 1963) and a very successful third Rochester International Bonspiel (April 12-13, 1963). Rinks came from Avon Lea, in Toronto; London, Ontario; Utica; Albany and Schenectady.

Interest in curling continued to grow to a point where the members felt the need for their own facility.

A Dedicated Facility

At the Annual Meeting in 1966, the membership elected to build its own complex. This meant that each member would have to invest in the project. This decision caused a membership drop from 65 to 24. These 24 hardy individuals raised enough money to build the two-sheet version of our current club at a total cost of $62,000. This included raising money to buy the present property at 71 Deep Rock Road ($10,000 in 1966 dollars) and the refrigeration plant ($13,500 in 1966 dollars). The money for the building came from a bank mortgage. Up until November of 2007, the past and present membership held the debentures for the balance of the building debt.

In 1972, the club expanded the facility to house 4 sheets of ice and enlarged the warm room. This expansion included a higher capacity refrigeration system that provided reliable service thru 2011, a very nice 39-year run.

A flurry of upgrades and replacements thruogh the early 2000s saw the addition of humidity control, efficient ice air heating, a low emissivity ceiling, sealed ice shed walls, a T8 lighting upgrade, re-cored rocks, and replacement headers and brine piping, along with a replacement refrigeration & control system in 2011. A brand-new roof was also installed in 2011, and the warm room was completely renovated in 2015.

The Rochester Curling Club Crest

Our crest is the emblem encircled within a belt and buckle. The emblem consists of two Scottish thistles in flower upon a rope of blue and gold.

Affiliations

RCC is affiliated with both the Grand National Curling Club (GNCC) and the Ontario Curling Association. Through contributions from our dues payments to the GNCC, RCC maintains a connection to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (Edinburgh, Scotland).