The Huntsville Curling Club “Dutch Girl” Scoreboards, erected in December 1972, are 50 years old this month.
Who is the Dutch Girl and why is she on our scoreboards?
This is the “Dutch Girl” Scoreboard Story.
By Dennis Rolland
At 5:45 PM on Wednesday, March 15, 1972, the wooden Glulam roof structure over our curling ice surface completely collapsed from snow load destroying the roof, walls, and Centre Street scoreboards. The block clubhouse, the four viewing windows and ice plant were not affected by the collapse.
This was the second Huntsville Curling Club roof to collapse from snow loads. The first roof lasted 10 years, collapsing in 1910. This roof lasted 21 years. The 1972 – 1973 Planning Committee, led by then President Bruce Petch, was tasked with the colossal endeavor to remove the collapsed roof, and rebuild with a design to last decades. Architects and Engineers recommended to the board that a flat steel roof 60 by 150 and no less than 14’ in height be built. The new walls and roof recommended were the strongest snow load design possible, capable of handling severe snow loads, and promised would serve the club for many decades.
In November of 1972, the John Wheelwright Co of Weston Ontario was awarded the contract and began erecting our new rink steel structure. The rink construction included insulated walls and new fluorescent lighting that was completed for a January 13, 1973 open house where we opened our doors to the community once again.
The Dutch Girl Scoreboards
The previous scoreboards were destroyed when the roof collapsed.
Doug Passmore and his wife Ruth were longtime members and volunteers of the Huntsville Curling Club. Thanks to the generosity of Doug, as the regional salesman for Schneider Meats at the time and his company, Schneider Meats, the scoreboards were donated to our Club. The widely known Schneider Meats “Dutch Girl” logo was all that was needed to identify the sponsor.
Who was the Dutch Girl?
If you have ever bought a package of hotdogs, fried some bacon, or even walked through a grocery store meat department somewhere in Canada, driven down the 401 in Kitchener, or curled at the Huntsville Curling Club, you have seen Nancy Featherstone.
But you probably know her by her other name - the “Dutch Girl,” who is the blond, blue-eyed young woman in the white bonnet who smiles back at you from our beloved Huntsville Curling Club Scoreboards!
Many people may not know there is an actual person behind that famous, made-in-Kitchener trademark; however, Nancy Featherstone is very real, and she lived close by in Central Ontario, in Victoria Harbour.
Nancy was working as a child model at age 10 in the 1930s when she was contacted by a Toronto advertising agency looking for just the right girl to be the fresh face of a company that would become one of Canada's most recognizable brands.
Pictured above is the Highway 401 Schneiders sign, east of Kitchener, with our club’s Dutch Girl. The company was sold to Maple Leaf Foods in 2014, but the sign, with the Dutch Girl, is kept fully restored as a historic icon. Everyone knows the Dutch Girl logo, especially here at the Huntsville Curling Club.