Thanks to friends like Adam Wodon of College Hockey News, we are gathering historical information about arenas in North America.
One of the documents that Adam found and shared with us is Ice Rinks in the Copper Country which is a history of ice rinks in the western part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This document talks about a few arenas that existed prior to 1900, but the oldest arena that still exists in that area is thought to be the oldest operating indoor ice arena in the world.
The Calumet Colosseum in Calumet, Michigan was built 1913 and is still in use today. It was featured in the article 100 Years Young: Calumet Colosseum in USA Hockey Magazine four years ago.
In spite of the fact that the Colosseum has been used for hockey since 1913, it only installed an artificial ice plant in 1968. Their ability to play hockey indoors prior to 1968 appears to be due to the cold conditions in Calumet during the winter.
The USA Hockey Magazine article talks about the ice plant being built with volunteer labor during a strike at the Calumet and Hecla (C&H) Mining Company resulted in the striking workers volunteering to build the ice plant.
As a result of the articles that Adam has sent us recently, we have a good amount of historical information about arenas that can be incorporated into RinkAtlas. We’re also beginning a trial project to document the closed arenas in New Jersey with an eye toward writing a history of arenas in the Atlantic District of USA Hockey in the future.