Monday, November 11, 2013

An update: Ice Skating in old Central City

It may not have drawn the crowds that fill the ice rink at  Rockefeller Center in New York City, but the American Legion Ice Skating Rink in Central City, South Dakota was once a popular place!  That's the big building in the center of this photograph. (Thanks to the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center [HARCC] in Deadwood) 

We're not quite sure exactly when the Homestake Mine closed Cyanide Sand Plant #2, between Deadwood and Lead (probably in the mid 1930s) but we've talked to many folks who remember visiting the spacious facility after it became home to a popular ice skating rink.

Documents at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC) in Deadwood reveal that the rink measured 60 feet by 360 feet.  According to information contained in the August 1963 edition of Sharp Bits, published by Homestake Mine, the rink was operated for many years by a local American Legion post.  What do you remember about this rink?  Drop us an e-Mail!   And you can take a closer look at the structure in our LCHS Photo Gallery.

Editor's Note:    In November 2013, a kind reader e-mailed us and provided more information about the rink.  She noted that it was "…naturally 'cooled' by the outdoor temp, and the snow would blow in on wintry days, but who really cared?  It remained open each season from the time it was cold enough for the ice to be laid, and sprayed to 'even out' the surface until the outdoor temps became too warm.  Huge hoses were used to lay down each layer of ice, and Mother Nature would take over each night.  Cecil Stoner operated the rink for several years, and then Tom Thoresen took over management for many years thereafter.  Skating was from 1:00-4:00 each Sunday; 7:00-9:00 on Wednesday and Friday nights, and two sessions on Saturdays (1:00-4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00)."