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Feb. 14, 1899 -- A Hockey Match to Remember
Left to right, standing: centre forward F. E. Curtis (150 pounds), right wing W. Sutton (212 pounds), point H. B. Donly (208 pounds), centre forward D. Robb Tisdale (232 pounds), centre forward W. E. Tisdale (225 pounds), right wing W. B. Browne (139 pounds). Centre row: goal Charles A. Austin (243 pounds), referee C. C. Fairchild, goal Wyatt S. Wood (124 pounds), cover point W. D. Battersby (206 pounds). Front row: right wing Harvey S. Falls (143 pounds), cover point Grant H. Backus (147 pounds), centre forward George A. Curtis (125 pounds), left wing Charles E. Boyd (212 pounds), point T. R. Slaght (146 pounds). Average weight of Thicks: 220 pounds; average weight of Thins: 149 pounds.

By 1899 hockey was becoming a popular sport in Simcoe. A local newspaper reported the following about a very interesting contest in the Beemer Arena.

From the Feb. 9, 1899 Norfolk Reformer
"A Match for Blood ... a hockey match that should draw a full house ... it all started this way:  Wyatt Wood and Charlie Austin met in the wine room of the Battersby [Hotel].  They had gone in to see a drug traveler and he was out for a minute,  so they waited.  They talked, and the conversation drifted to hockey and the relative merits of "light weights" and "beefy" players.  One word led to another until someone talked "bet." There was a challenge and an acceptance.  The match is to take place next Tuesday evening.  Proceeds for charitable purposes ... stake $1,000 a side.  Thicks over 200 pounds. Thins under 150."

From the Feb. 16, 1899 Reformer:
"That hockey match ... contrary to the opinion of all the prophets, the thin men were outplayed and defeated ... the official score was 7-5. Ever since last week's Reformer told the people of Simcoe about the proposed hockey match between the "Thicks" and the "Thins," the match and probable results have been the chief topic of conversation. The rink on Tuesday night contained the largest crowd ever held for hockey and we have yet to hear of anyone having gone home dissatisfied.  Charlie Boyd,  the two Tisdales,  and "Dad" Battersby were strictly in business and proved altogether too hard a combination for the Thins to solve.  The best for the "little 'uns" was done by Grant Backus and T. R. Slaght while George Curtis and Harvey Falls were, to say the least,  very energetic."

Photo from Simcoe & Norfolk County, published 1924 by Pearce Publishing Company. Book now out of print. Copy available for inspection in the Reading Room of the Norfolk Historical Society Archives at the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe, Ontario.

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