Tennis

by L.W. Sumpton

The earliest recollection of tennis in this community goes back to about 1926.

George and Mrs. Shortridge had a clay court on their farm, located a mile and a half west of town. I do not recall either George or Mrs. Shortridge playing, but their many friends took advantage of their hospitality and spent many a pleasant evening on their court. I recall Joe Quin, Percy Whitworth and Lawrence and Bea Sumpton playing. Mabel (Whitworth) Loftus and Ethel (Quin) Whitworth played there also. There was a "dirt" court at the Loftus farm on which the Quins, Whitwortlis and Loftuses played from 1919 to 1925.

Art and Mrs. Bowtell (Art was dominion government telegraph operator at Mooswa) had a court, located on the site of the Salt Plant Curling Rink. This court was in operation right up to the time that Art was transferred to Fort Vermilion. This was a clay court also. The only practical alternative was cinders, but the railway did not reach this area until 1927.

The first tennis court in Elk Point was constructed just north of the present Rummage Store, west of the United Church Hall, about 1930-32. It had screened cinders, which we obtained from the C.N.R. This was the end of steel for a time so cinders were available. Screening them by hand was quite an arduous task. Cinder courts had the advantage of being cleaner and one did not have to wait for drying off after a rain.

Tennis was quite popular among the young people at this time, but this site had to be abandoned as it encroached on the school playground.

Tennis Court Number 2 was promoted by Rev. Blackmore and Mr. Robertson, Toronto-Dominion Bank manager. This court was located in the vicinity of the present curling rink.

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1947-49 tennis court, situated where the present curling rink stands. Edythe Markstad weeding.

Among the rules and regulations was a stipulation that any and everyone using the court was expected to pull any weeds and roll the court after they were through. Not everyone did this. The club never was in a financial position to afford a caretaker.

We do not now have a tennis court.