A Century of Sports

Paisley Lacrosse Team 1907
Front row; Jimmy Forrester, Billy King, ?? Flood
Middle row; Stanley M. Gill, Frank Boyle, Alex Hopper, Alton Sheppard, Lauchie Brown
Back row; Jim Ellis, Archie Sinclair, Dave McGill, Dr. Marrs (Dentist), Norman Sheppard, Frank McClure, ?? McCutcheon


From the earliest days of Paisley, sports seem to have been in evidence among the citizens. News items in old copies of the Advocate make reference to football and cricket as probably the first sports to be competitive. Other than these references we have been unable to obtain anything more specific.

Advocate, May 21, 1885:
“Football is the only game in Paisley that seems to be booming, but Cricket practice will shortly be resumed.”

Advocate, _Iune 11, 1885:
“Paisley senior football club plays Chesley to-morrow. Success to our boys! ”

Advocate, june 18, 1885:
“The Paisley senior football club met Chesley last Friday and played a draw match with the Lornes of that village. No goals were taken on either side, and the match was a decided tie. The return match will be played here on July first.”

Advocate, August 13, 1885:
“An interesting game of cricket was played last Friday between the Paisley and Chesley clubs, at Chesley. It terminated in a victory for Paisley by 46 runs. The best feeling existed between the teams. Paisley boys were well pleased with the manner in which they were treated.” The Paisley team lists the names; J. McCool, W. Scott, B. Vance, Dr. McArton, W. Reid, C. Briggs, A. Megraw, T.A. McLean, F. Sheppard, H. Fisher.


Handed down by the Indians, this was one of the early field sports. At the turn of the century, records indicate that good lacrosse teams were in the field. There were ten men to a team: goal, first and second point, point and cover point, centre, first and second home, inside and outside home.

Angus McKinnon, who learned lacrosse in Paisley, went on to play with St. Simon’s of Toronto, which won the Canadian championship.

The accompanying picture shows a team in which Teddy Ellis, goal tender, Ab. Archer, home, and Lou Rankin, point, are still living.

Back row; W. Archer, A. Archer, S. Purdy, J. Hamilton, C. Rolston, J. Forrester, Ed Erdman, Teddy Ellis. Front row; D. McArthur, L. Rankin, G.B. Irwin, J. Ellis.


See Hockey was the Game section.

Horse-shoe Pitching

For a few years, this was a popular pastime in the village. Two notables were Bill and Ab. Archer who went to Sarnia and won the all-Ontario Championship.


In past years, tennis was more popular than it is at present. The first of the tennis courts was located in Ballachey’s Grove (behind the residence of Ralph Anderson). There were courts on some of the more spacious lawns, such as the one on the “Flood” property where the new fire hall is built. A Court on the east side of Knox United Church was popular for a time. At the present time there is no tennis court in the village.

The Caledonian Society

An offshoot of the St. Andrew’s Society was formed in 1885 to develop the bodies as well as the intellects of Scotchmen. The first games were held in September 1885, and the society was left in a sound financial condition. Since then, three more annual gatherings have been held. The shrill notes of the Highland pipes “made the welkin ring.” The bards put it this way: “The dancers dexterously displayed Their naked knees.” And “In the ring where champions meet, Were many a brawny famed athlete Performing some prodigious feat.”

In July 1948, at the Bruce Old Boys’ Reunion, Caledonian games were the main feature of the celebrations. (George Grant and Earl Rushton went to Toronto to secure the services of an expert to direct the games.) A special souvenir programme was printed befitting the occasion.

(Click on Book cover to see inside)



Bruce League Baseball Team 1929
Standing L to R; Douglas Cottrill,
Bruce Shoemaker, Bruce McKenzie,
Clifford Tanner, Harvey Grant.
Front row; Ivan Parker, Oliver Seiler,
Edgar Tanner, Hugh D. McArthur,
Mascot "Pete" Dudgeon

Baseball succeeded Lacrosse as a field sport. In the “big days” of baseball the Bruce League consisted of teams from Southampton, Port Elgin, Chesley, Paisley, Walkerton, Kincardine and Lucknow.

In 1927, the Paisley team won the Bruce League Championship.

Each town featured ball games in which teams of the Bruce League competed, when it celebrated a statutory holiday. In Paisley, baseball day was Victoria Day, May 24.

At one time the team’s mascot was a goat, owned by Harry McGregor. The goat was the target of much razzing by opposing teams.

Among the names prominent in Paisley Baseball are: Oliver Seiler, Borden Gregg, Ivan Parker, Dr. G.H. McKee, Bruce McKenzie, Harvey Grant, Clifford Tanner, Doug. Cottrill, Oscar Hopper, Harold Scott,
George Grant, Bruce Shoemaker, Edgar Tanner, Hugh McArthur, Roy Parker, M. Deight Potts, Bill Stanley, Jim Forrester, Malcolm McKinnon, Slim Ayerst, Vic. Tanner, Bill Russell, Earl Gertley.


The curling rink was built along with the present Arena in 1948, and the club was formed in that year, with the first presidents being Mrs. Marie Stoddart and Mr. Stuart Howe. During the first year the curling was done on a sheet of ice under the seats. Mr. Lorne Evans was the first Secretary Treasurer. The ladies club was formed in 1957. The club house was built in 1960. The first rocks bought were all matched rocks from Scotland. Each year besides the regular schedule of curling events the club holds men’s, ladies, mixed, and invitational mixed bonspiels. Mrs. Lily Brown, and Mr. jim Hope are this years presidents.

Paisley Lawn Bowling Club

Submitted by John Vanderplas

In 1910 the bowling green was located on the property now occupied by jack Worthington.
In 1920 a new green was established on the site of the present Sunoco Service Station. One year potatoes were grown on this site, on account of the food shortage. Ab. Archer began his bowling career on this green.

In 1934 the present bowling green behind the Oddfellows Hall was prepared. In later years the Oddfellows sold the property to the Bowling Club for one dollar. Club officers at the opening of this location were:
President T George Craig 
Vice President - W.E. Theaker
Sec.-Tres. - F.A. Gibson
Executive - H.C. Barnett, O.E. Seegmiller, E.D. Elwes, G. Grant.
Honorary Presidents - Thos. Switzer, WJ. Theaker.

In the early days bowlers travelled by horse and buggy to Owen Sound, stayed overnight and returned home the next day.

The spring Meeting of 1959 voted to build a new club house. The Committee in charge was: W. Gregg, B. Pickard, R. McAllister, J. Vanderplas, P. Cutter, L. McClure.
The building account was closed in 1960. In 1960 a letter of appreciation was sent to Earl Putnam for providing benches.

Since 1960 a new lighting system for both the green and the club house was effected. Changes have been made in the design of the clubhouse.
Officers for 1974 are:
Past President: Dr. R. Spracklin
President: Lloyd Hopper
Secretary: Jack Worthington
Treasurer: John Vanderplas

Both Men’s and Ladies Clubs have memberships of forty bowlers each.

The Paisley Snowdrifters

Submitted by Mrs. Carl Weins

On june 22, 1970, a meeting was held of interested parties to discuss the ways and means of forming a snowmobile club. They also met with neighboring municipalities. The following week the Paisley Snowmobile Club was formed with the following executive:
President - john Seiler; First Vice - Stuart Howe; Second Vice – Ron McNeill; Secretary-treasurer - Elroy Cumming; Public Relations – Mervin Howe; Recreation Committee - Bill Karcher, Dalton Moffatt, Ron Gibbons, Jack Tanner, Ivan Wonch; Racing Committee - Charlie Fraser, John Fryfogle.

The members joined the Ontario Federation of Snowmobiling. A set of rules was drawn up to protect both the public and the snowmobiler. At the time it was decided to have marshalls for the club to look after any complaints from the public regarding snowmobiles. During the first year club crests were designed by Raymond Moffatt and we adopted the present name of “The Paisley Snowdrifters”. As a club we sponsored trail rides and cook-outs.
In the second season of the club’s existence we used a farm house owned by Stuart Howe as a club house where we gathered to begin our trail rides and hold social evenings. We continued to use this club house until the farm was sold. The following year due to not having a club house our gathering place was Mervin Howe’s garage where we left on our trail rides and cookouts. This year our club became incorporated and will be known as “The Paisley Snowdrifters Inc.”,

In the season of 1972-73 the first Mid Georgian Bay All Stock Championship races were held and repeated in 1974 with great success.

A snowathon was held in January of 1974 with charitable donations going to different organizations. At the dance which followed our first Snowmobile Queen, Laura Bennett, Paisley, was chosen and crowned.

The aim of our club is to have groomed trails and a club house. We recommend that safety is basically a matter of using good common sense.

The Paisley Snowdrifters.

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An Historic Album of Paisley
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