Members of the First Professional Portage Lake Ice Hockey Teams
Houghton, Michigan

Portage Lake Logo, white on green.
The Copper Country teams were called the "Miners" in the news

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January 1898 "The game of hockey was introduced into Houghton last Friday evening by a game between two teams from Dollar Bay." the local paper wrote at the time.
The only covered ice rink at that time was in Dollar Bay.
Members of those first two teams were: 
WHITE TEAM             POSITION                   RED TEAM
L. Fissette                     Goal                              B. Wagner
   N. Rogers                     Point                             A. Penberthy
B. Kitto                        Cover Point                   F. Fernette
       H. Rosberg                   Center                           W. Middlemiss
  S. McGrath                   Cen. For.                      M. McGrath
      G. Williams                  Rt. Wing                        T. Glendening
E. Yates                       Left Wing                      H. Yates
(contact webmaster if you have a picture of these White & Red teams.)

1899 The Portage Lake ice hockey team formed.

Members of the first hockey team in the Portage Lake district were:
Dr. Gibson
Dr. E.R. Hay
Andy Haller
Wally Washburn
Dr. Percy.H. Willson
Dr. R.B. Harkness
C.E. Webb as manager.

Note there were four Doctors on this team!
Source of names: The sports section of the 1924 Michigan College of Mines Keweenawan pictorial book from the local college now named Michigan Tech University. 

1899 Portage Lakes
the first known PL hockey team
1899 Portage Lakers nbs.jpg (179275 bytes)
Top Row L-R: B. Potter (Lt Wing), Ellsworth, Dr. R.B. Harkness, Black, Dr. E.R. Hay.
Seated L-R: Thompson, Dr. J.H. Gibson (Cover Pt), C.E. Webb -mgr, Dr Percy H. Willson (Rt Wing), Delaney (Point).
Kneeling L-R: Wally Washburn, Andy Haller (Rover).
Members of the 1899, 1900, 1901 team also included Rowe at Forward. 
C. Yates and Dr. H.B. Harkness were officials.


Pre 1902 team: The line up of that "first Pro team" included:
Wally Washburn in the net (game injuries ended Wally's hockey career by 1902)
"Doc" J.L. Gibson at cover point
Delaney at point
"Doc" Percy Willson at right wing
Potter at left wing
Rowe at forward
Haller at rover
"The highly rated officials at the time were C. Yates and Dr. HB. Harkness." 
Source:  The local Houghton newspaper, the Daily Mining Gazette, dated August 1, 1961.
(contact webmaster if you have a picture of this team.)

Top Row Lt to Rt:  A Holler -Rover, 
E.C. Hay -Spare, 
C.H. Webb -Mgr, 
P.H. Willson -Center, 
R. Rowe -Left For'd.
Seated Lt to Rt: W. Washburn -Spare,
H.E. Meinke -Right For'd, 
J.L. Gibson -Capt. Cover Point, 
E.E. Howell -Point, 
J.H. Jones -Goal.

Portage Lake Hockey Team
Champions of the West
1902 or Earlier
1902orEarlierPLChampsofWest.jpg (61527 bytes)

In 1902-03, a four team league played in Michigan's Upper Peninsula: Houghton, Hancock, Laurium and Sault Ste. Marie, all of Michigan. 

Members of the 1902-03 Portage Lake team were: 
J.H. Stephens -Rover, 
C.E. Webb -Manager,  
L.J. Ames -Trainer, 
J.C Baker -Point.
John Jack L Gibson -C. Point and Captain, 
R. Rowe -Left Wing, 
J.H. Jones -Goal, 
C.E. Wescott -Right Wing, 
H.E. Meinke -Center. 
A Haller -Sub,
 (Lake -Sub, listed on 1903 stick "burnt by Frog" and also Lake, Blanche, Buckanan are listed on another Frog burnt 1902-03 stick but not on picture)


1902-03 Portage Lake
Champs of the United States
1902-03PortageLakeChamps s.jpg (130135 bytes)
Standing L-T:  A Haller -Sub,  J.H. Stephens,  C.E. Webb -Manager,   L.J. Ames -Trainer,  J.C Baker -Point.
Seated L-R: J.L Gibson -C. Point and Captain, 
R. Rowe -Left,  J.H. Jones -Goal,  C.E. Wescott -Right,  H.E. Meinke -Center. 
Paddy the Mascot dog. 
All the sticks in their picture have MIC-MAC stamped on them, and the goalie stick was not any bigger than any other stick in the picture.

The 1902-03 season had 14 games between 27 Dec to 3 March according to their team photo list & carved 1903 stick.  The Portage Lake Hockey Team was considered the Champions of the United States for the 1902-03 season: 
Here is their 1902-03 Schedule as it appears printed on their team photo above: 
Dec. 27 Toronto University 2 ... Portage Lake 13 *
Jan. 23 St. Paul 2       ..... Portage Lake 20
Jan. 24 St. Paul 6       ..... Portage Lake 8
Jan. 30 St Louis 0      ..... Portage Lake 13
Jan. 31 St Louis 1      ..... Portage Lake 10
Feb. 4 Detroit 2         ..... Portage Lake 11 **
Feb. 5 Detroit 3         ..... Portage Lake 12
Feb. 9 Victorias of Pittsburg 1     ..... Portage Lake 10
Feb. 10 Victorias of Pittsburg 6   ..... Portage Lake 7
Feb. 12 Duluth 0                     ..... Portage Lake 13
Feb. 23 P.A.C. Pittsburg 1      ..... Portage Lake 11  
Feb. 24 P.A.C. Pittsburg 1      ..... Portage Lake 3
Mar. 2 Bankers of Pittsburg 0  ..... Portage Lake 0 *** 
Mar. 3 Bankers of Pittsburg 0  ..... Portage Lake 1
* the "Frog" carved stick has this game with 2-15 score
** the "Frog" carved stick has this game with 1-11 score
*** the "burnt by Frog" and the "Frog" carved stick has this game a 2-2 tie

[P.A.C is Pittsburg Athletic Club, there were 3 Pittsburg teams; note: at that time, Pittsburgh was spelled without an "h"]

1903-04 In this season, the local league expanded to take in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis. The 1904 Portage Lakes won the American Championship over the Pittsburg Victorias and the World Championship over the Montreal Wanderers who were who were billed as the Champions of Canada at the time. The Portage Lake team "had made every effort to play the top teams of Canada" but could not, because the Amateur Canadian teams would be banned from their league if they played a professional team.

The 1904 Portage Lake team members and managers included:
John L. "Doc" Gibson -Capt & Point
W. "Hod" Stuart -Cover Point
C. Bruce. Stuart -Center -scored 57 goals in 25 games
Bert C. Morrison -Rover -scored 70 goals in 25 games
William "Cooney" Shields -Rt Wing
C.E. Westcott -Lt Wing
W.M. Riley Hern -Goal
N.F. Ernie Westcott -Sub
Joe Linder -Sub
Jas. Duggan -Trainer
C.E. Webb -Mgr
James R. Dee Pres.
Referees: J.H. Booth -2 games, Dr. Harkness -1 game, James P. Mooney -1 game, Roy D. Schooley -6 games, Dr. Percy Willson -12 games.

1903-04 Portage Lake Champs
1903-04 Portage Lake hockey club world champs.jpg (207922 bytes)

1904PortageLakeGames&Roster.jpg (74712 bytes)

Game Results for the 1903-04 Season for the Portage Lakes were:
Portage Lake 20    St. Paul 0
Portage Lake 15    St. Paul 1
Portage Lake 21    St. Louis 0
Portage Lake 24    St. Louis 0
Portage Lake 16    Canadian Soo 1
Portage Lake   7    Canadian Soo 0
Portage Lake   6    American Soo 1
Portage Lake 12    American Soo 1
Portage Lake   9    Keystones 4
Portage Lake 11    Keystones 1
Portage Lake   6    American Soo 7
Portage Lake   4    American Soo 1
Portage Lake 11    Pittsburg A.C. 1
Portage Lake   6    Pittsburg A.C. 3
Portage Lake 14    Pittsburg Bankers 7
Portage Lake 14    Pittsburg Bankers 5
Portage Lake   9    American Soo 1
Portage Lake 11    American Soo 1
Portage Lake   6    American Soo 1
Portage Lake   5    American Soo 1
Portage Lake   2    Victoria's 5
Portage Lake   5    Victoria's 1
Portage Lake   7    Victoria's 0
Portage Lake   8    Wanderers 4
Portage Lake   9    Wanderers 2

For a total of 258 goals for Portage Lakes
 and 49 goals for their opponents!

4 Feb 1904 Daily Mining Gazette:
PLvsPittsburgBankersDMG4Feb1904s.jpg (79766 bytes)

1904 News Article:
PLvsWanderersDMG20Mar1904News.jpg (134139 bytes)
In March, 1904, the Wanderers sent a challenge to the Portage Lake team for the Championship of the World.
This ad appeared in the Daily Mining Gazette Newspaper in Houghton, Michigan announcing the game that the current Champions of Canada, the Wanderers, would play against the Portage Lake team, the Champions of the U.S. 
Portage Lake won both games convincingly, 8-4 and 9-2 and the Portage Lake team was proclaimed the 1904 Champions of the World!

1904-05 The International (Professional) Hockey League (IHL) organized by Portage Lake consisted of teams playing out of five communities in the United States and Ontario: 
Houghton Portage Lakes, Calumet, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan,  Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Pittsburg, PA

 Members of the 1904-05 Portage Lake Professional Team were:  
Charles E. Webb -Mgr,
John L. "Doc" Gibson -Point and player/mgr 24 games, 2 goal
C. Ernest "Ernie" Westcott 3 games, 1 goal
William "Cooney" Shields 10 games, 5 goals (played part of season with Calumet)
Bruce Stuart -Captain 22 games, 33 goals
William Riley Hern -Goal 24 games 2 shutouts
Bert Morrison 12 games, 9 goals.

Others who played this season for Portage Lakes:
Harry Bright 8 games, 9 goals
Lorne Campbell 4 games, 5 goals
Andy Haller 1 game, 0 goals
Barney Holden 24 games, 7 goals
Fred Lake 24 games, 14 goals
Charles Liffiton -R Wing (highest paid player in the IHL during the 1904-05 season with $1350)
Joe McMaster 1 game, 2 goals

John T. McNamara -Manager
1904-05 Portage Lake IHL Team
1904-05PortageLakeIHL_s.jpg (69358 bytes)
Standing Lt to Rt: Hod Stuart, Charles E. Webb (manager), John L. "Doc" Gibson.
Seated Lt to Rt: - Ernest Wescott, William "Cooney" Shields, Bruce Stuart, William Riley Hern, Bert Morrison.

This team played 24 games: 
17 Wins, 7 Losses, 2 Ties.

Please Contact webmaster if you have a different picture of the 1904-05 Portage Lake team.

1905-06 The Portage Lake team was the International Hockey League Champions.

Members of the 1905-06 Portage Lake team included: 
  Clockwise from top left:
C. Bruce Stuart -Center, Captain 20 games, 15 goals
Barney Holden -Cover pt., 20 games, 9 goals
John T. McNamara -Manager,
Grindy Forrester -point, 20 games, 4 goals
W.M Riley Hern -Goal,
Joe H. Hall -Rt wing, 20 games, 33 goals
Harry Bright-Rover, 9 games, 7 goals
James W. Duggan-Trainer,
Walter A Forrest -spare (replaced on team by Forrester), 5 games, 0 goals
Fred W. Taylor -Rover, 6 games, 11 goals
Red E. Lake -Lt wing. 20 games, 25 goals

1905-06 Portage Lake IHL Team
Portage Lake 1905-06 IHL Championship Team
 1906 Portage Lake Intl League Champs.jpg (60009 bytes)

Clockwise from top left:
C. Bruce Stuart -Captain, Barney Holden, John T. McNamara -Manager, Grindy Forrester, W.M Riley Hern -Goal, Joe H. Hall, Harry Bright, James W. Duggan -Trainer, Walter A Forrest,  Fred W. Taylor, Red E. Lake.

  1906-07 The Portage Lake team was the International Hockey League Champions.

Members of the 1906-07 Portage Lake team were: 
Jas M Duggan -Trainer;
Darcy Regan -Goal 24 games, 2 shutouts;
John T. McNamara -Mgr.
Fred W. Taylor -Cover Point 23 games 14 goals;
Barney Holden -Point 20 games, 3 goals.
Grindy Forester -Right Wing 22 games, 15 goals;
Goldy Cochrane -Rover 17 games, 12 goals; 
C. Bruce Stuart -Capt. Center 23 games, 17 goals; 
Fred E. Lake -Wing.
Jack Descarie -Spare.

Others who played this season with the Portage Lake team:
"Tuff" Bellefeuille 2 games, 0 goals (played 3 games with Calumet)
Harry Bright 4 games, 3 goals
Harry Brown 5 games 0 goals
Con Corbeau 2 games, 0 goals (played 13 games with Calumet)
Doc Gibson 2 games, 0 goals
Cliff Hudson 1 game, 0 goals
Dick Wilson 2 games, 1 goal
Portage Lake 1906-07 IHL Team
1906-07PortageLakeIHL.jpg (67788 bytes)
Top 3 L-R: Jas M Duggan -Trainer; Darcy Regan -Goal; John T. McNamara -Mgr.
Middle 2 L-R
Fred W. Taylor; Barney Holden.
Middle 4 L-R
Grindy Forester; Goldy Cochrane;  C. Bruce Stuart -Capt.;  Fred E. Lake.
Bottom 1: Jack Descarie.

Photo courtesy of Ernie Fitzsimmons
Hockey Historian, Fredericton, N.B

Following the 1907 season, the professional Portage Lakes broke up, the team kept playing, but played as an amateur team.  Many of their past stars returned to Canada to play pro hockey on newly formed Pro teams. The first year  in Canada that the Ontario Hockey League allowed their players to turn professional was after the 1907 season.

After the International Hockey (Pro) League from 1904-1907 broke up, many players in the IHL league went on to play pro hockey for teams across the Nation and Canada. Click here to see a list of North American pro teams starting from the 1904 teams to present.

Click here to see pictures of Houghton's Portage Lake Hockey Teams 1899-present. 

International Hockey (Pro) League 1904 to 1907:
Alphabetical listing of players and managers from the Portage Lake Teams in the Pro league: (includes the 1st pro team in 1903-04; the year before the IHL formed) 

"Tuff" Bellefeuille, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team  

Harry Bright, 1904-05, 1905-06, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team -Rover. Harry (18-- to 19--) was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Harry Brown, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team.

Lorne Campbell 1904-05 Portage Lake Team

"Goldie" Cochrane, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team

Con Corbeau, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team

James R. Dee, 1903-04 Portage Lake Team, Pres.

James W. Duggan, 1903-04, 1905-06, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team -Trainer

Grindy Forrester, 1905-06, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team -point

Walter A Forrest, 1905-06 Portage Lake Team -spare

J.L. "Doc" Gibson, Point 1903-04 (Capt), 1904-05 (player/manager), 1906-07 Portage Lake Team

Joe H. Hall, 1905-06 Portage Lake Team-Rt wing

Andy Haller 1904-05 Portage Lake Team

W.M Riley Hern, 1903-04, 1904-05, 1905-06 Portage Lake Team-Goal,

Barney Holden, 1904-05, 1905-06, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team-Cover pt.,

Cliff Hudson 1906-07 Portage Lake Team

Red E. Lake, 1905-06 Portage Lake Team -Lt Wing.

Fred Lake, 1904-05, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team -Rt Wing.

Charles Liffiton, 1904-05 Portage Lake Team -Rt Wing (highest paid player in the IHL during the 1904-05 season with $1350)

J. Linder, 1903-04 Portage Lake Team, -Sub

Joe McMaster, 1904-05 Portage Lake Team

John T. McNamara, 1905-06 Portage Lake Team-Manager

Bert C. Morrison, 1903-04, 1904-05 Portage Lake Team, -Rover

Darcy Regan -Goal 1906-07 Portage Lake Team

C. Bruce Stuart, 1903-04, 1904-05, 1905-06, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team-Center & Capt,

W.H. Stuart, 1903-04, 1904-05 Portage Lake Team, -Cover Point

William "Cooney" Shields, 1903-04, 1904-05 Portage Lake Team, -Rt Wing

Fred W. Taylor, 1905-06, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team-Rover,

C.E. Webb, 1903-04 Portage Lake Team, -Mgr

C.E. Westcott, 1903-04 Portage Lake Team, -Lt Wing

C. Ernest "Ernie" Westcott 1904-05 Portage Lake Team

N.F. Westcott, 1903-04 Portage Lake Team, -Sub

Dick Wilson, 1906-07 Portage Lake Team

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