RI Hockey Legacy

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East Side Skating Club

The East Side Skating Club was originally started in 1909 by a group led by Abbott Phillips who wanted to play hockey near their homes on the East Side of Providence.  They persuaded John J. Kean to build a rink on part of his property at Cole Avenue and Sessions Street.  The club was chartered on November 17, 1911 and the original incorporators were Harry Parsons Cross, Irving O. Hunt, Harold W. "Spec" Paine and Mr. Phillips.  The first treasurer was Harris H. Bucklin.  The club at one time had 600 members.  Hunt, Paine, Bucklin and committee member Fred R. Budlong were former Brown hockey players and members of the Providence Hockey Club that played their amateur games there.  The East Side Hockey Club and Hope Street High School also skated at the club.  The club also saw woman take up the game under the coaching of William Cole.  Winter carnivals were very popular with events including pair skating, relay races, speed events and hockey games.  The rink was built up every day with a fire hose sprinkler.  The base of the rink was sand and the sides were of planking.  The most fun was in the evening where large gatherings from College Hill both young and old skated under the glare of arc lights and lanterns.  In 1952 the club ended its existence after 43 years because the winters had become to mild to maintain the ice surface.