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Cyaniders?

Posted: August 4, 2012 - 11:10pm
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The championship 1915-16 "Cyanide" basketball team from Treadwell, Alaska is shown in this historical photo. The Juneau Empire will be running historical photos celebrating the papers 100 years in print and will feature an online (juneauempire.com) slide show of various historical photos and features starting Monday. The Cyaniders basketball team (in not particular order) were: Grover Kertis, William Metzner, Walter Barquist, a mister Atkinson, Carles Hayer, J. Hayes, and a mister Dahl.
The championship 1915-16 "Cyanide" basketball team from Treadwell, Alaska is shown in this historical photo. The Juneau Empire will be running historical photos celebrating the papers 100 years in print and will feature an online (juneauempire.com) slide show of various historical photos and features starting Monday. The Cyaniders basketball team (in not particular order) were: Grover Kertis, William Metzner, Walter Barquist, a mister Atkinson, Carles Hayer, J. Hayes, and a mister Dahl.

It seems that the early Cyaniders basketball team was a handful. What you say?

Well, there are some fun days ahead for readers of the Juneau Empire.

Starting Monday the Juneau Empire will be sharing historical archives with readers via an online slide show (juneauempire.com) and historical photos in print.

We are celebrating 100 years of news and photos that have been shared over the years, plus a few that we just find darn right fascinating.

Being a sports fan, and a hoops kind of guy, I was really taken by this photo brought in by Tony McCormick.

It seems there wasn’t much action across the Gastineau Channel for the high schools in 1915-16 and often city teams played.

The Treadwell Mines Series featured four teams: the Shop team, the Mexicans, the Store, and the Cyanide. Although the league folded after this photo due to the Treadwell cave-in in April, 1917, the accounts of games from that time are priceless.

Some of the early written reports really caught my eye.

Such as:

1) “There will be no basket ball game tonight at the Natatorium. The Cyanide Plant team are unable to play on account of it being melting time at the plant.”

2) “The next game of basket ball will be at the Douglas Natatorium tomorrow, Thursday night, between the Store and Mexican teams. A very fast game is looked for.”

3) “Much interest is being taken in basketball by the Treadwell people. The league formed by the different departments have their schedule well under way and with each game a little more interest is added. So far the team representing the Mexican mine have the lead and the boys claim that they are able to hold it. They can all drop the ball in the basket when they get a chance and they play together. Each man seems to be at the right place at the right time.”

Players on the Mexicans team included J. Archer, R. Stevens, J. Keene, J White, M. Jones.

The Store featured Jack Johnson, M. Christman, L. Foreman, T. Richardson and A. Rapp.

Shop team members included Mills, Dutton, Barquist, Dermody and Allen.

Officials included Tom MacDonald, Pat Scott with time keepers W. Mauseth and C. Roddy and scorer Charles Hall.

If any of those names ring a bell please let me know a few stories you have about them or sports stories from the past that you may want to share.

If you have historical newspaper photos that is even better and I encourage you to share them with us so we can share them with Juneau.

Here’s another good read:

4) “At a meeting of the basketball committee, and the members of the team, held at the Treadwell club rooms last night, it was decided that the Treadwell teams would not go to Juneau for the purpose of playing exhibition games; but that if Juneau would organize a team then they would send a team to play them.”

5) Word is received that the Treadwell men’s basketball team was defeated in the first game with Skagway by a score of 19-14, but that they won a return game. The women’s team won from Skagway by a 12-6 score. The teams will return on the Prince of Wales today. A dance will be given in honor of the victorious ladies’ team Wednesday night at the Treadwell club.”

What a magical time.

That final season for the Treadwell was also a season in which the Douglas High School girl’s team declared themselves Channel Champions due to a Juneau forfeit. It was also the year that the Gastineau Channel Basketball League was formed.

The Douglas girls organized their team about Christmas time and practiced hard and challenged the Juneau girls to a series of three games.

About fifty Douglas rooters who showed a great deal of pep and school spirit, although Douglas lost 11-4, attended the first game, played in February 1917. The Douglas girls won the second game 7-0 on March 4, 1917.

“All arrangements prior to the game had been made and the girls practiced like Trojans, when LO! In Saturday night’s paper there was an article saying that the game had been postponed. For this the Douglas girls cannot account, but in spite of the false item, which took away some of the proceeds and many of the rooters, the game was played and won.”

It seemed impossible to arrange the third game to decide the championship. The Douglas girls gave the Juneau girls choice in everything but Juneau postponed the game several times. Finally Douglas declared that Juneau forfeited the game and they, therefore, had won the championship.

That early Douglas lineup included Ula Beck, Wilma Gamble, Alice Bollinger, Hilda Aalto, Virginia Laughlin, and Roberta Coryell.

Wasn’t that fun?

I look forward to hearing about your early sports memories and hope you want to share them.

What else do you have to do? It isn’t melting time at the plant.

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