Want to learn the true history of the origin of ice hockey?
Hockey's Home: Halifax - Dartmouth The Origin of Canada's Game Martin Jones
Dartmouth lawyer Martin Jones provides the true facts concerning the
origin of our national game in his new book, Hockey's Home: Halifax - Dartmouth
- The Origin of Canada's Game (Nimbus Publishing ISBN 1-55109-408-8).
great Paul Henderson writes in the foreword: "Martin Jones has provided a compelling
case that ice hockey originated in Dartmouth and Halifax...Hockey's Home is a great
read that every hockey enthusiast will thoroughly enjoy."
Jones provides evidence
of the first games which were played on Lake Banook and the North West Arm.
Significantly, the first modern hockey skate was also invented and produced two
blocks from Lake Banook at the Starr Manufacturing Company in Dartmouth in the
1860's. From 1863 to 1939, over 11 million skates were shipped around the world by Starr.
I was pleased to see that Windsor, N.S. has been able to have its trophy from the
1900s returned to the town from an antique shop in Toronto.
Will the Windsor museum now return to Dartmouth its Starr Manufacturing Trophy which was first donated by
Dartmouthís famous Starr Manufacturing Company in 1897 to the Halifax Hockey League?
piece of Dartmouth hockey history, which rivals the Stanley Cup in size, is now prominently displayed
in Windsorís museum and its advertisements, having apparently been donated to them by a descendant of
a Kentville team that was the last winner of the trophy when the expanded league folded.
Unlike many other hockey histories, Hockey's Home provides full endnotes and bibliographic
references for all of the information contained in the book. The Toronto Globe & Mail has
described Hockey's Home as a "convincing case" that ice hockey originated in Dartmouth and
Halifax. In a separate article, it was highlighted as one of three "special hockey books".
Hockey's bible, The Hockey News, has written that Hockey's Home is a "fascinating history"
with "strong evidence...one of the top hockey books." In its April/May of 2003 issue,
The Beaver - Canada's History Magazine, agreed that Jones "presents
a convincing argument " that hockey was born in Halifax-Dartmouth.
The Vancouver Public Library agrees. In a recent review, they wrote: " Martin Jones has
produced an excellent history of the start of hockey in Canada.
The timeline, archival
photos and commentary following hockey from 1700's to the present is well presented and
no doubt will cause some major arguments as
to hockey's true birthplace - Montreal or Halifax? Martin Jones has the answer."
In his book, Martin Jones points out
the weaknesses of the claims of Windsor and Montreal as the birthplace of hockey. Relying
on a fictional reference from Haliburton in the 1840's to the lacrosse-like game of hurley,
Windsor supporters incorrectly argue that this confirms hockey originated there in 1800.
Montreal's claim of the first game in 1875 neglects to advise that Halifax's J.G.A. Creighton
moved to Montreal and suggested to his friends that they play a game of hockey using Halifax
rules and hockey sticks. Clearly, the game of ice hockey was invented and well established
in Dartmouth and Halifax before being introduced to Montreal, Windsor, Kingston and other areas
of Canada and the world.
Dartmouth and Halifax's unique geography provided ideal conditions for the development
of the game of ice hockey. This photo illustrates the close proximity of the various
factors which played important roles in the development of the new sport. The soldiers
of the Halifax Citadel and the sailors of the port were only a short ferry ride to
Dartmouth's First Lake (Banook) and its perfect ice surface in winter months. The first
lock of the Shubenacadie Canal entered Lake Banook from the adjacent Sullivan's Pond.
The construction of the canal provided young immigrant craftsmen eager to participate
in the new sport. One block from the pond was the most important skate factory in the
world - The Starr Manufacturing Company. At Mi'kmaw encampments at nearby Tuft's Cove
and on both Lake Banook and the adjacent Lake MicMac, the Mi'kmaq played their own ice
game and perfected the skill of stick-making. With these perfect conditions, ice hockey
was soon being played on Lake Banook and the North West Arm for the first time.
Hockey's Home provides a wealth of information on the earliest games and teams, the first
hockey sticks and rinks, the development of pucks and nets, early female and Black hockey
teams and the spread of our great game across Canada. It is available at all bookstores