Early Hockey Facts

Did you know that the first recorded game

on ”steel skates” was in 1783 New York City?(Collect Pond)

“Nothing can exceed in brilliancy and animation the prospect it presented on a fine winter day, when the icy surface was alive with skaters darting in every direction with the swiftness of the wind, or bearing down in a body of pursuit of the ball driven before them by their hurlies.”

Then later in Philadelphia when

”an ice stick-and-ball game named “hurly”  played on the frozen Schuylkill river as early as 1785.U.S. Naval hero, Stephen Decatur, playing “hurly” 15 years before the town of Windsor, Nova Scotia claims to have invented it.”


(Pictured up above is a painting of Ice Hurley done by John O’Toole in 1833 in Virginia.)

Also in the late 18th century (1786)

“Princeton, however, was more fond of “shinny,” known also as “hawkey” and hurley,” played with a hard ball and sticks having curved ends. The goals consisted of North College and the fence on the south side of the “campus.”

“The diary of 1786 contains several valuable allusions to College sports ” hockey on Stony Brook in winter, shinny, quoits, ‘ ‘ baste ball, ‘ ‘ and *’ prison baste ” on the campus in the spring and summer.”

(painting of shinny on the ice Morristown,NJ circa 1850)

Skating-Pond-At-Morristown,-New-Jersey“In the winter when the weather was cold and the ice firm the student might tuck  his skates under his arm and set out for Stony Brook or the Millstone River. If he were from the north and so at home on the ice, he often joined the other boys in a game played with a ball,  possibly hockey.”




1786, Princeton Library.

The Deke Quarterly – Volume 51, Issue 2 – Page 73


1933 – ‎Snippet view – ‎

p.206-7. Princeton – Forgotten Books


Princeton, 1746-1896 [by] Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker – Page 194


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