The Tompke family used this skating rink in Canyon from about 1971-1980. (Photo courtesy Tompke family)

Tompke family shares memories of skating rink in rural Creston

The Tompke family built a skating rink on their Canyon property in 1970s

By Crystal Scholz (Tompke)

It was a cold, Saturday morning in January 1974 at the Tompke farm in Canyon.

No sleeping in. The farm chores needed to get done as we had big plans for the day at our skating rink.

Snow that had fallen the night before needed to be cleared off the ice. Out came the brooms and shovels and on went the skates. Shortly after lunch, kids began arriving one by one. Hockey teams were formed and a brisk game was played on half of the rink. The other half was reserved for all who just chose to enjoy a leisure afternoon of skating.

As the day wore on, skaters and hockey players wandered to the skate shack, where they were greeted by a toasty fire in the pot bellied stove. The wooden benches provided ample seating to shed hockey gear and skates. Rows of windows provided plenty of natural light and the upper deck sported a great view of the rink.

After supper and chores, we made plans for an evening of night skating. Outside lights and large speakers belting out rock ’n’ roll tunes created the perfect setting for a teenage crowd to enjoy the night. A full moon against the silhouette of the Skimmerhorn mountain range added the final touch to the evening. Hot chocolate on the wood stove and laughter with good friends was a magical ending to our day.

These memories are cherished by Sandy, Judy, Ken, Vern, Crystal and Jon. We are forever grateful to our parents, Leroy and Eleanor Tompke, who made this possible for us to enjoy with friends, neighbours and the community.

If anyone has any pictures of the skating rink while in use (approximately 1971-1980), the family would love to get a copy. They can be sent to cottonwoodranch8@gmail.com.

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