Finally Went Skating

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, February 3, 1912:  Today proved to be a dull Saturday to me anyway. Ruth went skating this evening. It’s the first time this winter.

Source: Youths' Companion (November 16, 1911)

Skate forward, backward; start, stop, dodge. With “U.S. Hockey Player” Skates you have the jump on the other fellows.

They’re the fastest, lightest and strongest made. And they’re the only kind with chrome-nickel steel runner which can not dull.

U.S. Skates

are tempered steel, absolutely guaranteed to stand the hardest strain. The nickel-plating won’t chip or peel. They look more expensive than they are.


Illustrating Hockey, Club, Rink, Racing, and Ladies’ models.  Showing pictures.


54 Brenner St., Newark, N.J.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since this was the first time that Grandma’s sister Ruth went skating, the weather must not have been as conducive for skating in 1912 as it had been the previous winter.  In 1911 Grandma’s diary entries mentioned that friends came over to her family’s farm several times to go skating. For example, on January 17, 1911 she wrote:

Miss Stout was over this evening, wanted me to go skating or else sliding with her down on the creek with the rest of the gang. I choose to stay at home, and there I remained, and here I am at the present time.

Warrior Run Creek flows along the edge of the farm. I’m surprised that the creek froze enough to skate on. Maybe they flooded nearby land to create a homemade skating rink.

3 thoughts on “Finally Went Skating

  1. We used to skate on a rink they made by flooding an area on the nearby highschool field. Sometimes we would go skate at Belle Isle, an island park in Detroit. My father’s siblings had been champion racing skaters so we had racing skates even though neither my sister or I were real racers.
    When my children were growing up we lived on a lake and used to skate on the lake. Reading about your grandmother’s skating made me think about it.

  2. Sounds like it was a mild winter that year. This brought back memories of skating on the swamp near our house. There were lots of bumps of protruding frozen mounds but we had a good time laughing at our efforts to avoid them. One year Dad flooded the front lawn and we skated there. Later, when we got into our teens, an ice-skating rink came to town – that was loads of fun, too. Thanks for reminding me of the memories!

  3. Kristin and Barbara–Thanks for sharing the wonderful memories. One of my memories of skating when I was a child was the year when it rained a lot in the middle of the winter. The weather then turned cold and a very large mud puddle froze in our back yard. We had a great place to skate for a few days.

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