Proctor skating rink celebrates 90 years, 1926-2016

PROCTOR—Clippings from the Rutland Herald afford a glimpse into an old-time way to have winter fun. Such events got folks out and built community spirit in this small town. The 1927 season might remind us of this one—“insufficient snow”—but offered no hint of what was to come 10 months later: the devastating Flood of 1927.–Editor.

Nov. 6, 1925, edition: “In 1925 Mortimer R. Proctor gifts equipment for Proctor Village to have its first municipal skating rink to be operated by the Proctor Post of the American Legion. Warner’s field has been chosen as the site for the new rink. A warming room has been erected, heated by a wood stove, and lighted by electricity. Mr. Proctor developed the land, furnished the lights and side boards, and the warming house. He intends to turn it over to the legion to carry on the project. There is a good deal of interest in skating in Proctor but heretofore residents of the village have used Beaver Pond on the outskirts of town as a skating resort.”

Dec. 16, 1926, edition: “In 1926 the skating rink opened under the auspices of the American Legion. There was a five cent charge for adults and children could skate for free. A refreshment stand was available in the warming room, along with lockers, for leaving coats and skates. A hockey team was to be formed and it is hoped to have an exhibition game between two Vermont Colleges.”

Feb. 15, 1927, edition: “In 1927 an Ice Carnival was held at the skating rink; about 500 people attended. The snowshoeing and skiing events scheduled were cancelled due to insufficient snow. The evening entertainment started with an unfurling of flags, cannon salute, and music by the Proctor Band. Activities included fancy skating, 100 & 880 yard dash, 100 yard hobble race, potato race, and a costume contest for individuals and couples. The evening ended with a large bonfire.”

In 2016 the Parks and Recreation Committee would like to acknowledge Mortimer Proctor’s vision and support in making the Proctor Skating Rink a gathering place for friends and families for the past 90 years! We would also like to thank the Town of Proctor and its citizens for their on-going commitment and support in making the Proctor Skating Rink a great place to skate for years to come.

In celebration of 90 years the Proctor Skating Rink will provide free hot chocolate to patrons during the 2016 season. Stop in, lace up your skates and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate!

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