On September 13, 1938, a group of local business and professional men met to consider the possibility or organizing a curling club. Just over two months later on November 14, 1938, the Fargo Curling Club was formally organized – officers were elected, bylaws were adopted and authorization was given to purchase stones. Club members had previously arranged to rent space for one sheet of natural ice at the Fargo Arena, now the site of Island park Pool.
Records are few and memories dim but available information indicates that in 1940 the Club relocated to a site on Third Street North; Lot Four, Block Twelve in Keeney and Devitt’s Additions to the City of Fargo. This building accommodated two sheets of natural ice. Following the 1940-41 season, curling activity in the Fargo-Moorhead Area probably was suspended for several years. In late 1947, the Club apparently resumed activity at the Third Street site, just west of the present Fargo City Hall. The Club remained at this location until 1959 when the area was acquired by the City of Fargo Urban Renewal Agency.
The Early Years
The Fargo Curling Club became the Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club (FMCC) in 1954. In 1956, the Club was incorporated under North Dakota law.
Club members who curled the Third street location may remember the sporadic nature of the sport due to our unpredictable North Dakota winters. W.J. Peters, at the 1958 Annual Meeting: “The 1958 curling season was very spotty and disappointing due to the unusually warm weather. Our ice committee made ice three times and still we enjoyed only two weeks of good curling around the end of January. Membership dropped alarmingly, probably due to uncertain weather and poor ice.”
The first playdown to select a team to represent North Dakota in national competition was held at the Club in early 1957. The event was won by a Minot team. The FMCC was represented by a team composed of Jerry Ellingson, skip; Don Buland, Duane Buland and Harold Buland.
Intramural curling for NDSU students began in 1958. In subsequent years, Moorhead State University and Concordia College used FMCC facilities for similar programs.
In 1959, lease arrangement was negotiated with the Cass County Fair Association and a steel building was constructed just south of the intersection of 19th Avenue and Ninth Street North. Refrigeration equipment was purchased and space was available for two sheets of artificial ice. With the new facility, and particularly refrigeration equipment, members could plan the season’s activities with confidence. The Club hosted its first invitational men’s bonspiel in December 1960. Sixteen teams from North Dakota. Minnesota and Manitoba participated in a three-event bonspiel. The entry fee was $20 per team.
The new facility had its own problems with respect to curling ice. The brine pipes were laid on a sand base that ranged from a few inches to about one foot in thickness. The clay soils, typical of this area, were subject to considerable heaving due to frost action during periods of freezing and thawing. Minor changes in elevation of the ground during the winter often raised havoc with the smooth, level ice surface prepared in mid-November. At times during the season, luck was nearly as important as curling skill in deciding game winners.
In 1967 Club members entered into an agreement with the Fargo Park Board to build a four-sheet curling facility on land held by the Board. The building was located at the corner of 10th Street and 17th Avenue North. Numerous improvements were made to this facility since the initial 1967-68 season. These included surfacing the parking area with asphalt, landscaping the grounds, finishing the club-room interior, installing heaters and humidity controls in the ice area, carpeting the clubroom and viewing area, adding additional insulation to the ice area ceiling and the club interior, new lighting, adding elevated seats in the viewing area, and purchasing new stones.
Club bylaws were revised and updated in 1977, and non-profit tax status was granted by the Internal Revenue Service the same year.
1988 was a busy year for the Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club. The 50th Anniversary of the club was celebrated with a banquet at the KC hall. The final mortgage payment was made and a mortgage burning ceremony was held. A mini bonspiel was organized and past members were invited back to curl in it. Also, the club hosted both the Men’s and Women’s State Championships, which were held on separate weekends. The end of year awards banquet was the traditional end of the season. Awards and trophies were presented. This continued until 1997 when a major flood of the Red River occurred and the banquet was cancelled. A summer picnic and awards was started and continued for a few years. Some summers, a golf outing was held.
The New Club
Thru the years, club members worked on many improvement projects in the old club. These included adding ceiling insulation to stop dripping problems, adding metal wall panels, rebuilding and carpeting the walkways and leveling the sand base. But by 2007, the building that was built in 1967 was getting in need of major repairs. The roof leaked and was rusting, the refrigeration plant was old and breaking down and the sand base would heave causing negative ice. Committees were formed to look at options and several different ideas were pursued. Some, like teaming with the hockey group at the proposed Scheels Arena, would look promising but failed to come to fruition. Finally, an idea was presented to build on a green space between the SW Hockey arena and the Tharaldson baseball field which was Fargo Park District property. Some key donations were pledged in 2012 by companies and club members which kick- started a successful fund raising effort and a contractor was hired with a ground breaking ceremony was held in April, 2013. Club members volunteer labor finished placing the carpet, painting the walls and assembling the lockers. The new 2.7 million dollar, 6 sheet building was opened in November, 2013 just in time to celebrate the club’s 75th Anniversary. Membership grew to fill the expanded leagues. The increased membership made it possible to hire a full time Ice Maker and Club Manager. The ice quality was greatly improved over the old club, which has helped many of our club teams win state, regional and national championships!
FM Curling Club National Championship teams include:
- 1966 Men’s National Champion and World Bronze Medalists – Team Roberts
- 2017 Women’s Club National Champion – Team Podoll
- 2018 Mixed National Champion – Team Workin
- 2019 College National Champion – NDSU
- 2022 U18 Women’s National Champion – Team Scheel
- 2022 Junior Women’s National Champion – Team Scheel
The Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club partnered with Scheels Arena to host the 2011 and 2018 Men’s and Women’s National Championships and the 2013 Olympic Trials. The 2015 Men’s and Women’s Club Nationals, 2017 Men’s and Women’s Junior Nationals and 2022 College Nationals have been hosted at our curling club. The club has also been very active hosting bonspiels as well as state and regional competitions.
The Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club is pleased to offer exciting, high-quality curling in a fun and friendly atmosphere.