I-29104.1 | St. Regis Lacrosse Club, Montreal, QC, 1867

St. Regis Lacrosse Club, Montreal, QC, 1867
William Notman (1826-1891)
1867, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
10.1 x 13.9 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

The elite - mainly men of British origin - played an important role in the spread of urban leisure. These newcomers to Canada introduced a variety of pastimes and sports that would establish their traditional way of life in the colonial cities. They adapted their recreation to the North American context, however, and even borrowed games from the local Natives. Lacrosse, long part of the Algonquin and Iroquois cultures, was initially regarded as a game for "the Savages", but in the 1850s, the British elite adopted it as a competition sport.

Gilles Janson, Emparons-nous du sport : Les Canadiens français et le sport au XIXe siècle (Montreal: Guérin, 1995), pp. 8-14

Bruce Kidd, The Struggle for Canadian Sports (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1996), pp.14-15.

  • What

    Lacrosse, known as tewaarathon or baggataway, originated among Native tribes. Early Jesuit missionaries called it jeu de crosse, and European settlers began playing it in the 1830s.

  • Where

    At the time it came to notice in colonial cities, lacrosse was played primarily on the Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) Reserve near Montreal and the St. Regis (Akwesasne) Reserve near Cornwall.

  • When

    Lacrosse was played in the summer, replacing winter snowshoeing.

  • Who

    Members of the St. Regis Lacrosse Club at Akwesasne proudly display their sticks for the photographer.