Another Elite Powderhorn Park Speedskater

I’ve written before about the world-class speedskaters who skated at Powderhorn Park in the 1940s and 1950s and the high-level competitions held there. Now reader Gayle Mosiman Meadows has shared more information about speedskating at Powderhorn in the 1930s, especially involving her late father, Roger Mosiman.

She sent this image of a program from a meet in 1938 that featured her father who was then 14.

Program from 1938 speedskating event at Powderhorn Park, featuring photo of Roger Mosiman (Gayle Meadows Mosiman)

Program from 1938 speedskating event at Powderhorn Park, featuring photo of Roger Mosiman. (Gayle Meadows Mosiman)

Mosiman was likely featured on the program because at the time he held the juvenile boys national record for the fastest time in the 220 yard sprint. The national record for intermediate boys at the same distance was held at that time by Roger’s older brother, Earl Mosiman. The Bearcat American Legion Post was one of four posts that featured prominently as sponsors of speedskating teams.

Gayle also sent a copy of photo of Roger boarding a train for a skating competition in New York, likely the 1940 North American Speedskating Championship in Schenectady, NY. He is being seen off by his mother, Lillie, and his younger sister, Bernice.

Roger Mosiman boarding train for 1940 National Speedskating Championship in Schenectady, NY. Roger is being sent off by his mother, Lillie, and younger sister, Bernice. (Photo courtesy of Gayle Mosiman Meadows)

Roger Mosiman boarding a train for the 1940 North American Speedskating Championship in Schenectady, NY.  (Photo courtesy of Gayle Mosiman Meadows)

Roger, who attended Marshall High School in Minneapolis, finished the multi-event competition for the junior boys championship tied with Art Bulrice of Saranac Lake, NY. In a one-sixth mile race to determine the title, Roger fell and had to settle for second place. Winning the men’s title that day was future Olympian Leo Freisinger of Chicago.

After Marshall High School, Roger attended the University of Minnesota and became a navy pilot in WWII. In the 1960s, he moved to Gig Harbor, Washington. Roger died there in December 2011 at age 87.

Many thanks to Gayle for the program, the photo and the memories.

David C. Smith

© 2014 David C. Smith

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2 comments so far

  1. Jacki Carlson Farmer on

    Recently, while viewing histories of speed skating at Powderhorn Park, it was fun to view the old photos and read about the men who maintained the speed track for so long. I was disappointed to find no references to another method of shaving the ice that I remember around 1948. As I lived on Powderhorn Terrace, my mother and I would walk across the park on the upper path, when we walked to church. Looking down at the lake below, I remember seeing a team of brown horses pulling a plow(?) or ice shaver,
    ;
    I must have been four or five years old – so my memory is foggy – it was the first time I ever saw a horse!. I “lived” at the every minute I could ’til I moved out of the neighborhood.

    • David C. Smith on

      Thanks Jacki. The park skating rinks were indeed plowed and “shaved” by horse-drawn blades. I’ll try to find a picture to post of horses on the ice. I wasn’t aware, however, that the park staff was still using horses to care for the ice into the 1940s. I had assumed that had ended ealrier. Does anyone know when that practice ended? I’ll look into it too.


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