History greets you at every turn. Use the guide to see our Heritage Moments.
A very popular activity with Park visitors of all ages was roller skating at Skatehaven.
Built in 1949 and operated by Charlie Ashley, Skatehaven would make itself known throughout the townsite by the music it broadcast at the outdoor rink for the skaters to enjoy. The concrete rink surface was coated with a reddish brown product and cracks were filled and sealed with a beige caulking.
Young people assisted Charlie in screwing the roller skates seen onto the soles of skaters’ own shoes. They then assisted beginning skaters over to the encircling boards so they could learn to skate while hanging on.
Often these young people were the best skaters at the rink, having daily time to practice their cross cut turns and backwards skating. Many long-time park residents and visitors still lament the sale and closure of Skatehaven in 1980. The Museum has a CD of music from Skatehaven available for purchase.
While listening to the audio clip of music (below) that was played at Skatehaven, try to picture Jimmy Griffith pirouetting in front of an enthralled audience as is recounted in the following story.
W.T. Smith recounts in Waskesiu Memories, Volume II how an older friend surprised folks at Skatehaven with his talents.
“I believe the Roller Rink was built in 1949, and one of the fond memories was of Jimmy Griffith, the proprietor of the Milk Bar, coming to skate one evening. A bunch of us were trying to learn to roller skate, a totally different prospect than ice skating. While trying to adapt, we were taking falls and appeared more clumsy than cows on ice.
"Jimmy had his own roller skates with front wheels that rotated 360 degrees. He was nearing sixty years of age at the time and we were concerned for his safety, to say the least. He stepped on the floor with a couple of pirouettes, then enthralled the audience with a display of fancy roller skating never seen before in Waskesiu. He had never told anyone that roller skating was his sport in England, and that he had won several championships there years and years before. “
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