The Lakes Curling Club was founded in March 25, 1980. The club started with thirty Charter Members, which included Officers and Board of Directors. Charter Members
Prior to 1980 there were numerous discussions with small numbers of people in the Detroit Lakes area about starting a Curling Club. In the fall and winter of 1979 and 1980, Ed Rotenberger and Vern Turner made a concentrated effort to find out just how much interest there was.
The city was contacted to see if they would extend the ice time at the arena for several days at the end of the hockey season so we could hold a novice bonspiel. After receiving approval, the next step was locating curling equipment, i.e. rocks, hacks, brooms, etc. Frank Podoll of the Fargo Curling Club was contacted and they agreed to loan us their equipment if we purchased sufficient insurance to replace any damaged items.
The next move was to contact those people in town who had some exposure to curling. Several presentations were made to service clubs and other organizations. An organizational planning meeting was held at the Eagles Club. Plans were developed and it was decided to have a round robin bonspiel on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, March 15 and 16, with a championship draw on Sunday night. Each team would play four two-end matches.
The 32 teams participating were: Doug Fern, Ken Anderson, Doug Imholte, Stone family, Jim Buchholz, Harold Geiselhart, Jo Imholte, Ed Rotenberger, Jim Berman, Don Steinmetz, Gary Nulph #1, Harris Anderson, Jim Sinclair, Waldo Johnson, Wayne Olson #2, Rick Savoie #1, Rick Savoie #2, Phil Imholte, Vern Turner, Green's Plumbing, Friesen's, Gary Nulph #2, Roger Leslie, Nora Anderson, Al Ladeen, Jim Sinclair, Jr., Wayne Olson #1, Four A's, Lion's Club, Rotary Club, Eagles Club and Kiwanis Club.
Out of this event eight teams advanced to the championship flight with the Nulph team defeating the Rotenberger team for the championship and the Imholte team defeating Green's Plumbing for the consolation.
With the success of this bonspiel, a formal meeting was held on March 25, 1980, and the Lakes Curling was organized as a non-profit corporation. That summer contact was made with an individual from Sioux Falls, SD where we obtained our first two sets of rocks. In the fall of 1981, contact was made with Jim Beaton for the possible use of the empty boat storage building on his property. We were able to put in three sheets of natural ice and an 8'x8' warming house to begin our first season of curling at this facility. The following year, an agreement was made with Mr. Beaton to purchase the building on contract for deed. The boat storage racks were removed enabling the installation of four sheets of ice.
In 1983, the club purchased some used ice-making equipment from Rolla, ND. To obtain the necessary funds, individual members signed a promissory note at our local bank. Val Seaberg provided the truck to haul the equipment. This equipment laid in the back room for over a year because there were no funds to hire anyone to install it.
In the summer of 1984, several members volunteered to try to assemble the equipment. Viggo Thomsen spearheaded installation of the plastic pipes in the arena area; Vern Turner and Ed Rotenberger took charge of the electrical service and the assembly of the refrigeration equipment. After everything was assembled, many leaks were found in the equipment including the chiller, which had to be re-tubed. At the same timer the first permanent warming house was constructed, using vocational school labor. The heavy timbers from the boat storage racks were used for the framing. The other lumber came from the Red Lake Lumber Mill, windows came from a remodeling project in Fergus Falls, the carpet was from a Clinic remodeling project in Detroit Lakes, and Seaberg Oil provided and installed a used oil furnace along with the ductwork.
On February 1 through the 3rd of 1985 the first invitational mixed bonspiel was held. To get additional funds, the $100 Club was started with Viggo Thomsen and Ed Rotenberger co-chairing. Also, a pre-paid membership policy was adopted, offering a five-year membership for four-year dues. In 1986 we served concessions at the First Eagles Fishing Derby and realized a profit of just over $2,000.
In 1987 we raffled off a classic 1965 Mustang. Also in 1987 we joined the Minnesota Curling Association.
In 1991 we installed wall insulation in the arena area; replaced several pipes in the chiller and installed a new brine pump.
In 1992 the popcorn machine was purchased and Lutheran Brotherhood provided funds to finish the sidewalls in the arena area. This is the year the Junior-Senior High School program was started. Also, Mr. Canada contacted Roger Lee about hosting a series of bonspiels at Lakes Curling Club facilities.
In 1993 we hosted the Minnesota Curling Association Executive Board meeting. A second ice-making plant was purchased from Fort Francis Curling Club in Canada.
In 1994 the arena lighting fixtures were bought at the school district auction and installed. From that time it has been a matter of planning and executing annual summer projects to improve and update various areas of the building and site. These items have included installing gas heaters, crushed rock in the parking lot, insulating the ceiling, continuous remodeling in the clubroom and kitchen, updating the bathrooms and addition of locker room space.