Back Row from Left to Right:
Walt Swanson, unidentified, John Blair, unidentified, Marv Tommervik, unidentified, Bill Ristine, and John Johnsen.Front Row from Left to Right:
Ed Stevens, unidentified, unidentified, unidentified, and Gil Richards.
INTRODUCED IN 1949 Lakewood Ice Arena manager and head pro Johnny Johnsen needed to come up with another activity to fill the arena’s schedule. Johnsen’s Danish heritage and background with the sport of curling made it the ideal addition to the arena’s schedule.
Thus, the sport of curling was introduced to Tacoma in March of 1949 and at the time, it was not only the first curling activity on the west coast but one of but a few in the entire country.
The Lakewood Curling Club met at the Lakewood Ice Arena on Monday and Fridays from 6:00-8:00pm and on Sundays from 9:00-11:00am.
They had two sheets set up about 14″ wide, which allowed four “rinks” or 16 people to curl at a time, although there were about 25 total active members such as Johnsen, John Blair, Walt Swanson, Ed Stevens, Jim Stephens, Dave Jenkinson, Steve Brighman, Bill Ristine, Gil Richards, Gene Riggs, and even Marv Tommervik, the great PLU player of football stardom.
In 1976, with the opening of Sprinker Recreation Center, the club moved to the spacious new arena in Spanaway and curled there for several years until the membership and interest began to dwindle. As they did at Lakewood, the club hosted several bonspiels over the years and traveled in Washington and British Columbia to away events as well.