History of the A's
The A's In The Victorian Age
the Athletics Lacrosse Club were formed in 1877, St. Catharines had been a
city for only a year and had a population of just around 4,000.
Athletics’ 1883 move to their permanent home at the new lacrosse grounds
on Catherine Street would occur a little before regular passenger
steamship service would commence between Port Dalhousie and Toronto. This
would be an important development for the future of local lacrosse as it gave the team ready access to the good teams playing out of Toronto and
beyond. The team’s excursions that were accompanied by several hundred
supporters and the local regimental band on the “Empress of India” or
the “Garden City” to the Toronto Island or Scarborough Beach lacrosse
grounds would be an enjoyable part of being a St. Catharines lacrosse fan
in the late 19th century.
1887 an electric streetcar service was opening up in St. Catharines (the
first in North America) and this provided the means for many more fans to
attend the team’s home games. The N. S. & T. terminal on Geneva
Street was just a short walk from the lacrosse grounds and eventually this
system would extend to Niagara Falls and across the peninsula to Port
St. Catharines Standard newspaper would publish its first issue in 1891
and William Bartlett Burgoyne would then purchase this business a year
later. From the start, the local daily would be an important supporter of
the Athletics, a reputation it has maintained to the present day.
The Athletics scrapbook for this era includes:
The Athletics are alright !
photo courtesy of Nickerson Appliances, St.Catharines