We Rode The Stones!

When I was about four or five years old, in the early 50s, we used to have two sets of Curling Stones in our cellar.

There were no Curling rinks/ Clubs around our town.
My father was Dr. Thomas Nugent, a small-town family Physician and Surgeon, but he came from the large port city of Saint John N.B.

When he heard that the Saint John Club was getting New Stones, he asked if he could have the old ones for a Club in rural NB, “probably in Florenceville, ” he said. ” Probably? What, you want Our Stones and you don’t even have a Curling Club”, they said.

My father, was quite convincing when he said, ” If I have the Stones, I’m sure I can get my friends to help build the Rink.”

So, they gave him the Stones, and they got stored in the dirt cellar of our large old house in Bath, N.B.

Time went by, no talk of a Curling Club, but the Nugent kids; we were 13, plus our buddies, played on the Stones in the cellar. We invented all sorts of games to play with the 40+ pound stones, which even two of us couldn’t lift,throw, nor sweep.

The best game that comes to mind was “Rock’em Knock’em Off Curling.” It was a Contact Sport. So we’d each sit on top of one, holding onto the beautiful wooden handles, while others tried to knock us off, using whatever means they had. When time was up, The team of coloured stones, that had the most kids still holding onto their Rocks, was the winner. We had several other Games for younger kids, like HopScotch Rocks, Target Time, etc.

After a couple of years with the rocks lying underground, Dad began showing them, usually one-at-a-time, to his Connected, Well-to-do buddies, from companies and big farms, etc. . The more guys that saw the rocks, the more interest there was in building a Curling Rink. Politicians, Bankers, Frozen Food Company owners, Farmers, Trucking Company execs. etc. All joined in on the Fund-raising and planning to build the Florenceville Curling Club, within a few years, it was up and running and they came to get the Curling Stones from our cellar. They took the Stones to be re-furbished, polished, etc. Then the League and Bonspiels began.

Even when the Curling began, I was still fairly small, so on early weekend mornings, Dad would go down to help with things , along with his buddies, Robert, Andrew, Wallace and Harrison McCain, and many others.

While they were working, chatting, the kids got to push the stones and ride them to the other end.

So after years of waiting, we finally got to Ride The Stones.


Prof. Paul Nugent-73

photo 1951 Dr. Thomas Nugent with Curling Stone Riding Twins, Bridget and Paul.