Q: From Anne (via Twitter): "How do you think Torvill and Dean would have done in Calgary '88?"
A: I don't think the question is how Jayne and Chris would have placed if they competed at the Calgary Olympics, but how they would have managed to match or top "Bolero". At the level they were skating at as professionals at the time, I think they could have easily repeated as Olympic Gold Medallists. I don't say that to discredit the ice dance medallists in Calgary - I actually loved watching all three - but Jayne and Chris were just remarkable.
Q: From Edward (via Facebook): "Which skaters do you think that history has been most unfair to?"
A: Really interesting question! The obvious answer is Nancy Kerrigan. The poor woman got attacked twenty five years ago and is still remembered moreso as part of 'Nancy and Tonya' than for her two Olympic medals. As entertaining as "I, Tonya" was, I don't think the revisionist history has helped. Sonja Henie is perhaps another... I keep going back and forth on how I feel about her and I'm sure I always will.
ANCHORS AWEIGH: TRUE TALES OF SKATERS ON THE HIGH SEAS
From Heather Chartrand (via e-mail): "I enjoyed your blog story about the history of skaters travelling by ship overseas to and from competitions! It reminded me of a story of Alaine's great grandfather, Robert Norris, who was 2nd Mate on the SS Rapids Prince that navigated the St. Lawrence River from Prescott, Ontario through treacherous rapids and on to Montreal, Quebec throughout the 1940s. When Alaine won the Canadian Championship in 2016, long-time Prescott residents and benefactors to the Prescott Figure Skating Club, Joan and Scott Hubbard, presented Alaine with a painting of the SS Prince along with a little history book that told stories of the ship and crew. It was an amazing gift to receive and it means a lot to our family to have this piece of history to connect us to our family's past. The book features personal accounts of the history of the ship and there's a little anecdote about Alaine's great grandfather and Barbara Ann Scott. I've attached so you can read it. I don't know if it was the famous yellow Buick convertible that Barbara Ann had been given for winning the 1947 World Championships which she was allowed to keep following the '48 Olympics... but it's fun to think that it was! It was just a brief encounter, but for Alaine, who never had the opportunity to meet Barbara Ann Scott (or her great grandfather) this story is a fun piece of family lore. I'm sure that young Robert Norris never ever would have thought when he encountered 'Canada's Sweetheart.' Ms. Scott that his own great granddaughter would also one day be a Canadian Champion figure skater! It was special for Alaine to learn this story as a gift for winning Nationals. It probably wasn't uncommon for Barbara Ann to travel via Prescott. She trained at the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa which is an hour drive north of Prescott. Many people travelled by ship to Montreal on the St. Lawrence as the main highway wasn't constructed then. Mrs. Judith Caldwell who is a long time resident of Prescott, was also a figure skater who spent some time training at the Minto Skating Club and was friends with Ms. Scott. Mrs. Caldwell went on to establish the Prescott Figure Skating Club which celebrated it's 50th Anniversary last season. The club has a rich history. Joan Hubbard and her sister, Mary, were skaters with the PFSC. Mary Warren went on to be a long-time coach with the Oakville Skating Club. Joan has been president and involved with the PFSC for many years. She's also the club historian. She has every program from every ice show the club put on. The PFSC hosted many Canadian figure skaters as guests in their annual ice show, with the skaters often staying at the Hubbards' house which is next to the arena. Jennifer Robinson was once a surprise guest when she arrived with then boyfriend Shane Dennison who was guest skating in the show with his pairs partner. Both were later coaches of Alaine. I love these little intertwining stories that make up the history of the skating community... Anyway, I thought you might appreciate this little bit of history with a skating connection. Alaine and I are big fans of yours and share your love of the history of figure skating!"
A FAMOUS IMPOSTER
From Rowan (via e-mail): "I'm writing a history of Hamilton's Panoramas and including notes on the many variety artists who performed with the show during the 19th century. These included several roller skaters, notably 'Ashley, Smith and Hess', 'Hess and Lisbon' (Ashley and Smith well known, but Hess and Lisbon are a nightmare to disentangle as at least three performers used those stage-names), and 'Chivers and De Monti'. De Monti’s real name was Charles Walter Holt and after breaking with Chivers he joined the 'Four Mayos', founded by Arthur Mayo (real name Arthur Collard). Mayo is first found in the Era 6 May 1877 skating in Ulverston with a Jackson Grant as 'The Imperial Canadian Skaters'. Then in September (Era 23 Sep.1877) they have become 'Jackson Haines and Arthur C. Mayo (late, Mayo and Grant, the Imperial Canadian Skaters)'. The pair are then found touring England, and returning from a Continental tour in June 1878 with 'Mdlle Bell, the Great Dutch Lady Skater and Champion Lady of the Nederlands' (Era 9 June 1878). In September they are back on the Continent (no mention of the lady); last found in Brussels in 1880 (Era 29 Aug.1880). I have not searched for them in European papers as they are peripheral to my interest in the Hamiltons, and I am easily distracted. The Mayos returned to England as 'The Three Mayos (Ida, Arthur, and Will)' in 1897 (Era 14 Aug.1897) saying they had been playing in Europe and America 'over Eighteen Years'. Soon they are the 'Four Mayos' and continued touring for many years, with some changes in personnel, until at least 1915. Arthur Mayo (Collard) died in London in 1933 age 82. No idea who this 'Jackson Haines' (originally Grant) was: taking on a famous performer's surname was common enough but using a whole name, even that of someone deceased, is very unusual."
THE LANSINBURGH HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S RESEARCH AND CLIPPINGS ON JACKSON HAINES
From Christopher (via e-mail): I saw the e-mail and thought you'd appreciate the info! [Feel free] to share my article.
Jackson Haines (1840-1879) was variously called the father of: figure skating, modern figure skating, international style, freestyle skating, the Viennese style, etc. His parents Alexander Frazee Haines and Elizabeth Terhune Bogart, his sister Elizabeth, and his children lived in the Village of Lansingburgh during the span of 1865-1873. The 1875 NYS Census shows Alexander F. Haines and his wife living with her mother, Maria (or Mary) Westervelt, on Peebles Island opposite Lansingburgh.
TROY GYMNASIUM - Haines, the great "star skater," and who created so great a sensation on the Van Rensselaer Skating Park [in Albany] last winter, made his debut at the Troy Gymasium last evening, on "rollers," or parlor skates, and delighted a very numerous auditory, with his extraordinary and artistic movements.
Albany Morning Express. March 29, 1862: 3 col 3.
- Jackson Haines, the skater, well-known in this city, has recently been presented with a beautiful medal by the Grand Duke Constantine, of Russia. It is a very large circle of Siberian crystal, in which are set letters of gold, stating the object of the gift. The edge is of solid gold, and it is surmounted with gold straps, dotted with rubies and pearls. A very handsome ring, with a ruby centre and five first-water diamonds on either side, was also presented to Mr. Haines by the Czar Alexander.
Troy Weekly Times. July 8, 1865: 1 col 5.
Haines Alexander F. h. 218 Congress [3rd Ave.], Lans.
Troy Directory for the Year 1865: Including Lansingburgh, West Troy and Green Island. Vol. 37. Troy, NY: Young & Benson, 1865. 48.
Arrested on the Charge of Kidnapping.
An examination of more than usual interest occurred before Justice Lansing, of the ‘Burgh, on Saturday last, which originated as follows: On Thursday of last week, a gentleman and lady, named William H. Bates and Almira Haines, of New York city, arrived in the ‘Burgh and engaged rooms at the Phoenix Hotel, for the ostensible purpose of making a short sojourn in the "Garden," and which they did, as the sequel will show. The lady referred to proved to be the wife of Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater, who is now astonishing the crowned heads of Europe by his consummate skill as a skater, and whose father, William S. Haines, resides in Lansingburgh. Previous to her husband’s departure for Europe, his father, who was then a resident of New York city, who was appointed guardian for the children, consisting of three in number, and they were accordingly placed in his custody, as such guardian, for the purposes for which he was appointed, and upon his removal from New York he brought the children with him to Lansingburgh, as it would appear, without the consent of Mrs. Haines, their mother, but on the contrary against her will. Such at least was her statement.
The mother, desirous to regain the custody of her children, came to Lansingburgh for that purpose, and instead of proceeding in a legitimate way to obtain such custody, resulted in the arrest of both herself and her escort, Mr. Bates. Some time prior to the afternoon of Friday last, the parties called at the residence of William S. Haines, apparently for the purpose of seeing the children and having an interview with them, the real object of the visit undoubtedly being to inspect the premises and decide upon [?] plan by which the custody of the children could be obtained. This belief is deduced from what subsequently transpired. Upon the Friday afternoon referred to, between four and five o’clock, Mr. Bates and Mrs. Haines were seen in the rear of Mr. William S. Haines’ residence, by some factory girls who were employed in an adjacent building. The latter was leading two of the children toward the Phoenix Hotel, where she succeeded in conveying them. As soon as this fact came to the knowledge of Mr. Haines, he proceeded to the hotel and demanded the children and the mother refused to surrender them—whereupon Mr. H. procured a warrant for the arrest of Mrs. Haines and her accomplice, Mr. Bates, on the charge of kidnapping. Officer Longstaff served the process, and the parties were arraigned before Justice Hearman for an examination, who, in consequence of the late hour in the day, declined to hear the same at that time, and bail was required for the appearance of the parties before Justice Lansing on the following day, Saturday, or by failure to procure said bail, be committed until such time. The re-delivery of the children into the custody of Mr. Haines was accepted as a sufficient recognizance, and the parties were held to await the determination of the following day’s examination. At two o’clock P. M. on Saturday the parties appeared, Justice Lansing’s Court, Francis Rising, Esq., appeared for the people, and James R. Stevens, Esq., as counsel for the prisoners. Several witnesses were examined on the part of the prosecution, and after the testimony was all in, the counsel for the prisoners moved for their discharge, on the ground that the evidence did not sustain the charge of kidnapping; that if they were guilty of any crime at all, it was one entirely distinct from that with which the prisoners were charged, and upon which they were arrested. The Court took half an hour to examine the law, and being convinced that the evidence did not sustain the charge of kidnapping, discharged the prisoners, who returned to New York on the same evening.
Lansingburgh Weekly Chronicle. August 8, 1866: 2 col 3. [Jackson Haines’ father was Alexander Frazee Haines; Jackson Haines’ grandfather was Jackson Haines. It's unclear why the newspaper reported the father’s name as William S. Haines. A William S. Haight, for what it’s worth, was the name listed just above Alexander F. Haines’ in the 1865 and 1866 city directories.]
Haines Alexander F. house 218 Congress [3rd Ave], Lans.
Troy Directory for the Year 1866: Including Lansingburgh, West Troy and Green Island. Vol. 38. Troy, NY: Wm. H. Young, 1866. 56.
A SAD CASE OF DROWNING.—A son [Abram] of Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater, was drowned in the river opposite Lansingburgh, on Thursday evening. The lad, who was about ten years old, was in a row boat with two others and when in the river opposite Haskell’s oil cloth factory, ran into a sail boat. The force of the blow thew H. into the water, and he sank to the bottom at once. The body was found about ten o’clock that night.
Hudson Daily Register. July 23, 1870: 2 col 4.
TROY, N. Y., 10.—Eugene Haines, nine years old, a son of Jackson Haines, the great skater, was drowned this morning at Lansingburgh.—His brother nearly the same age, was drowned this month last year.
St. Lawrence Republican and Ogdensburg Weekly Journal. July 11, 1871: 2 col 7.
Haines Alex F. carpenter, h. 110 River, Lans.
Troy Directory, for the Year 1872: Including Lansingburgh, West Troy, Cohoes and Green Island. Vol. 44. Troy, NY: Wm. H. Young, 1872. 70.
The Last Sensation in Lansingburgh—The Spirits Proceed to Discover the Whereabouts of Certain Bonds Stolen from the Waterford Bank—A Foolish Old Woman—An Outrageous Affair.
A highly sensational and disgraceful affair, in which the arts of old women combined with the gullibility of followers and modern Spiritualism were interestingly exhibited, too place in the village of Lansingburgh yesterday afternoon. Miss Clementina Jones owns a large frame house on the corner of River [First Avenue] and Grove [118th] streets. She, with her mother, both aged and remarkably eccentric females, occupies the lower floors, the upper portion being rented by the Haines family, worthy and respectable people, the parents of Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater. Miss Jones considers herself a singularly persecuted female, and is constantly communicating her thousand troubles to either the police or the newspapers, who in common with others regard her as the source of all her own unhappiness, and of various annoyances and discomforts to her tenants and neighbors. Her latest idea is that her habitation is the abode of perturbed spirits, and the story appeared in a late issue of the Gazette. Her tenants, the Haines's, seem for some unknown reason to have found great disfavor in her eyes, and several times of late she has announced by placards on her front door that "stolen goods were received up-stairs," "performances every day," etc. On Wednesday evening a number of persons held a spiritual seance in Miss Jones’s parlor, when the medium of the party discovered to the rest that silverware and bonds belonging to David Brewster, and stolen from the Waterford Bank, were secreted in Haines' apartments and in the cellar of the house, the bonds being buried in a certain designated spot in the cellar. This seance was repeated at Dr. Benton’s rooms on Thursday evening. The result was that yesterday Mrs. Brewster appeared before Justice Davenport, who, upon the woman’s oath that she believed and suspected upon the best of grounds that her property was in the above mentioned place, furnished her with a search warrant. In the afternoon Mr. Brewster summoned an officer and searched a certain portion of Mr. Haines’s rooms. Trunks were ransacked and packages of private letters examined, but they disclosed no traces of bonds or spoons. With the aid of one of the seancers a great hole, large enough to bury the whole party, was then dug in the cellar, but the lost treasure would not turn up, although the precise spot had bene marked off, according to the "spirit’s" directions, two feet from the wall and three feet deep. The bonds didn’t appear but another officer did, who, at the instance of Mr. Haines, arrested Mr. Brewster for malicious trespass, and proceeded with him to the station house. Mr. Brewster at once sent word to Gen. Bullard of this city, who went up and, with Wm. Bradshaw, became his bondsmen in the sum of $100 before Justice Hearmans to appear before the next criminal court in Troy. As we have said Mr. and Mrs. Haines are people of the highest respectability and honor, and the proceeding of yesterday is regarded as shamefully outrageous. The whole affair seems to have been contrived by an addled minded and maliciously inclined old woman. As to the other actors in the performance their conduct can only be regarded as silly as it was unwarrantable. Even the police declare themselves ashamed of the part they were compelled to perform in the matter.
Troy Daily Times. February 8, 1873: 3 col 3.
—Mrs. Haines, a former resident of Lansingburgh and the widow of the late Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater, is in Lansingburgh to remove the bodies of her two sons, which are interred in the village burial ground, to Cypress hill cemetery, Long Island. Both the boys, it will be remembered, were drowned in the Hudson river at Lansingburgh, one in 1870 and the other in 1871. Mrs. Haines has married a second husband, who is in prosperous circumstances at Brooklyn.
"Lansingburgh." Troy Daily Times. November 23, 1882: 2 col 5.
During [Jackson Haines’] absence in Europe, his two sons were drowned in the Hudson River while visiting their grandparents who had moved from New York City to Lansingburg. His daughter died in early womanhood, and his wife in 1890.
Minnoch, Jack. "Dressing Room Chatter." Amsterdam Evening Recorder. January 24, 1941: 12 cols 4-5.
EVEN MORE JACKSON HAINES... AND A LITTLE GEORGE MEAGHER
From Bill (via e-mail): " I'm a retired writer in Kingston, Ontario and have been enjoying your excellent blog on this remarkable performer. I discovered him in the 1980's while researching the history of hockey, and made copious notes on winter sports. I recorded his visit here from February 26 to March 2, 1864 and performances on indoor and outdoor rinks, one of which attracted such large crowds that the water came up through the harbour ice. An account of Haines' performance in Kingston from DBW Feb. 25/64 - 'The celebrated star skater of America exhibited his singular skill and dexterity at the King Street Skating Rink today. A slightly male young man under 30, of pleasing and gentlemanly manner, he cuts figures, skates on one leg backwards, turns somersaults and pirouettes like and opera dancer... dances Quadrilles, waltzes, college hornpipes and took figures as if he had pumps on.' Another from the Kingston Daily News, Feb. 26/64: 'Jackson Haines, the champion skater of America astonished and delighted the citizens in the King Street Rink by a series of inimitable performances.' I recorded this in an article, 'The Rinks and Rinkists of Kingston,' published in Historic Kingston, Vol. 34, 1986. I have no doubt that his appearance here inspired The Meagher Brothers of Kingston, who toured the major cities of North America in the 1860's and 1870's. I also presented a paper on this family for the Kingston Historical Society and unveiled an historic plaque in their honour in front of their home close to the waterfront."
JOHN CURRY'S ICARUS
From Lee (via Facebook): "Just to say I saw John Curry's Icarus and was transfixed as he fell, and fell, and fell! It remains one of the most memorable things in my life (along with flying on Concorde). Both unbelievably beautiful things that I was privileged to share in and be enriched by. A very great talent lost too soon."
LARKYN AUSTMAN AND SEVENTIES SKATING IN B.C.
From Jim (via Facebook): "I I thought with the I would share a story that has a British/Canadian connection with one of our women competitors in the Olympic Games. Jean Scott represented Great Britain in the 72 Olympics in Sapporo and at the Worlds a month later in Calgary. She placed 11th at Olympics and then 6th at Worlds which my parents took me to see. I would be meeting my future coach Edi Rada as by that summer I would be skating at North Shore Winter Club where Karen Magnussen, Olympic Silver Medallist, also trained. Another family also moved to North Vancouver that summer and I would end up boarding with them starting in September of 72 after staying with the Rada's all summer. Mrs Jean Anderson and her husband Tom, along with their 2 daughters, Heather 11 and Yvonne 9, took me in as their border. I would stay with them for several months before moving in with Dennis Coi and his aunt and uncle. I was 15 at the time and living away from home to train. Every morning up at 5am for 6am patch and on the way to the rink Mrs Anderson in her lovely Scottish accent, I believe she was from Scotland originally would tell me about her favorite skater Jean Scott and had put the girls in skating hoping for similar results, hence the move to NSWC for more ice and better coaches. Heather and Yvonne would become very good! Heather under the tutelage of Cynthia Titcombe Trudeau (now Cynthia Ullmark) would win the 1974 Novice Ladies at both Western Divisionals (I have included a picture from BC Thin Ice) and Canadians. Her sister Yvonne that year at BC Sections jumped from 7th after figures to 1st in the Pre Novice event with a spectacular freeskate. Heather would go on the following year in 1975 to be the ruuner up Jr National Champion and eventually a Sr Ladies national competitor. Yvonne in 1978 was 3rd at the Junior Canadians and in 79 was also runner up in Jr. Ladies at Canadians. 2 sisters, same medal 5 years apart! Yvonne also would compete in Sr. Ladies against her sister no less. Heather Anderson (now Austman) is Larkyn's mother and is a coach in Coquitlam, B.C. Larkyn won Jr. Canadians a few years ago, a feat both her mother and aunt did not quite make. Also Larkyn's father Leonard also skated and Larkyn is coached by Zdeněk Pazdírek, a Czech who also competed in the 1972 Worlds. I always enjoy your posts and have many more skating stories. I have been fortunate in my career to skate with many Olympians and World competitors. From Ondrej and Dorothy, to Robin, Toller and Liz Manley."
THE EPIC THAELLS
From Bill (via Facebook): "Rona Thaell was one of my last coaches to be able to put up with Edwina Hewison (Sloman) & myself, she taught us a lot of the tricks they used to do. She then later taught me how to teach. A great lady."
From Joan (via Facebook): "We got our blades from him, while he was in Lake Placid. He imported Wilson & M.K from England. Still have one of the original bills. Coronation Ace = $36."
SHOPPING WITH THE PROTOPOPOV'S
From Amelia (via Facebook): "I loved them so much! I was in the Ice Capades when they defected! Talk about life lessons and appreciating what you have... I took Oleg to a U.S. grocery store. He asked me at the meat counter, 'Which one (meat) can I have?' Puzzled, I said, 'All of them.' He looked astonished. 'You mean I can have anything I want? 'Yes...' It was a moment in my life where I truly was thankful for what I had."
DICK BUTTON'S SHOW AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR
From Michael (via Facebook): "I worked at the rink as a skate guard 1961 and 62 before it closed for construction for Dick Button’s show. The last week of operation as a public skating rink featured an ice show as a preview for the World’s Fair. The resident pro, Paul Von Gassner skated as well as Dick Button and Scott Allen. I made life long friends at the rink."
PAGING STEPHEN MORRIS
From Rupert (via Facebook): "I stumbled across your astonishing website and wanted to say a big thank you for the brilliant work you are doing. I also would like to know if a message can be put out in the ether for the wider skating community. I'm trying to get in touch with a friend from school many years ago. His name was Stephen Morris. He was a dedicated skater. We went to school in South West London. Orleans Park School in Twickenham. He would be skating every morning before school, and would arrive a bit late because of this. I remember he competed in a St Ivel. tournament (early 80s probably). I googled him before and found he took part in the 1982 British Championships in Solihull. (ironically this was away from Richmond Ice Rink, which was very local as it was situated in East Twickenham). After we left school in 1982 we both went to Richmond Upon Thames College in Twickenham. That was the last contact I had with Stephen. I've tried looking online to see if I could contact him, but I've not been lucky enough to trace his whereabouts. He was an extraordinary kid. Dedicated, funny (humorous), and someone who was his own man. It's such a shame that we lost touch. If there is any news at all as to which continent he might be in, or any news of any kind, then I would be very, very grateful indeed. I never skated to the same level in any way but I used to go to Richmond Ice Rink as a kid. I enjoyed it. That's before I met Stephen Morris, but what a lovely ice rink it was. It's sadly missed. Thank you kindly for your time on this. Well done again on keeping the flame alive for so many aspects of the skating world."
AN OLYMPIC TEST DRIVE
From Linda (via Facebook): "Evgeni Platov once bought my Lexus from me, I think, it was in 1994, just a bit after the Olympics (he must have been training at the University of Delaware, in Newark, DE, because I live near there). I remember being star struck, when he came to give it a test drive, although I tried my best to act normal. My husband, on the other hand had never heard of him, so he wasn’t overly impressed. I told him, for me, it was like riding in the car with the Super Bowl MVP! He told us that he wanted to buy it. He just had to have the money transferred. I remember him saying to me that he was the Olympic champion and that he could afford to buy it. I told him, not to worry and that I knew who he was. In the end, it all worked out. He drove away with a very nice car and left me with a wonderful memory. I’m 63, now, but I’ll never forget the experience. Oh, and he was absolutely lovely."
BARB AND THE BUNNIES
Photo copyright Liza Dey Photography
Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of the figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html.