History of Curling at Exmoor

Exmoor Country Club has offered curling for more than 80 uninterrupted years, with champions and medalists galore. Come watch and learn from the best.  

Curling at Exmoor Country Club began in the fall of 1938 on two sheets of natural ice. By the mid-1940s, four sheets of outdoor ice were in use with canvas sides but nothing overhead. After 20 years outdoors, an official curling facility with four indoor sheets was built at Exmoor in1957.

The story of how curling got started at Exmoor, perhaps apocryphal, is that one of the governors ran into the definition of curling in a dictionary: “a game played on ice in which two teams of four players each compete in sliding a large stone toward a mark in the center of a circle. The losing team then buys the winners drinks.” That closing sentence may have changed the course of Exmoor winters.

Through the years, Exmoor curlers have excelled on and off the ice. On the men’s side, Bob Warner skipped teams that dominated Illinois curling during 1960s. Starting in the 1980s and continuing to the present, Jeff Wright has skipped teams to victory. On the women’s side, from the 1970s to 1990s, Ann Brown skipped teams that recorded many victories in national competitions. Marcy Calaway also had national success in the 2000s. In 2002 and 2014, Ann Swisshelm Silver represented Exmoor as a member of the USA women’s Olympic curling team. In addition to the Olympic team, she won several state and national championships. Ann took home the gold at the Women’s World Championship in 2003.

On the administrative side, Ann Brown was the first woman to serve as President of the United States Curling Association (USCA). Georgia West has since served in that position, and both women also served as President of the United States Women’s Curling Association (USWCA). Many Exmoor curlers throughout Exmoor history, both male and female, have held positions in the USCA and Illinois Curling Association.

In past years, several Exmoor curlers have represented the USCA or USWCA in friendship tours between Scotland and Canada. These tours allow curlers from the United States to travel to these two countries, interact with local curling clubs, and participate in a friendly competition. Exmoor Country Club has also hosted Scottish and Canadian teams on the returned exchange.


  • Ann Brown (former Exmoor Member): Member of the USCA Curling Hall of Fame as of 1993
  • Elmer Freytag (former Exmoor Member): Member of the World Curling Hall of Fame as of 2018
  • Andrew Stopera has represented Team USA at the World Junior Curling Championships in 2017 and 2018. He brought home a silver medal in 2017.
  • Jeff Wright, Russ Armstrong (former Exmoor Member), and Russ Brown have represented Team USA at the World Senior Curling Championships in 2014 and 2018. The 2014 team also included Nils Johansson and Jim Wilson. The 2018 team which brought home the bronze medal included Exmoor Members Steve Waters and Sean Silver.
  • 11 USWCA National Championship Teams
  • 27 Men’s State Teams since 1959
  • 18 Women’s State Teams since 1975

You will find additional information and stories about Exmoor history on the "Historic Exmoor" and "History of Golf at Exmoor" pages of this web site. Enjoy.
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