Mission and Story
Consistent with its mission of preserving the history of ice hockey in New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey actively solicits historical, hockey-related artifacts for preservation and display to the general public. Its members work to raise money to preserve the donated artifacts, including historical literature, records, photos, film, clothing, equipment, trophies, etc. Many of those artifacts are currently on display at various locations around the state. The organization continues to seek out New Hampshire-related materials and literature for addition to its ever-growing collection. Individuals willing to donate memorabilia or make a monetary donation can contact Jim Hayes, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Hampshire Legends of Hockey is a self-governing, non-profit, 501(C)(3) association incorporated with the State of New Hampshire.
NH Legends of Hockey
PO Box 777
Manchester, NH 03105-0777
It began in the spring of 2001 with a meeting of the minds – three of them to be exact: Jeff Eisenberg, president of the Manchester Monarchs AHL franchise; Dick Boucher, a former Berlin Maroons player and later business manager of the Manchester Blackhawks; and Francoise Elise, then Executive director of the Franco American Center in Manchester. The three shared a love for hockey and they discussed the rich history and tradition of the game in New Hampshire. All agreed there should be a statewide hockey Hall of Fame that would honor the men and women who have made outstanding contributions by their participation as players, coaches, offi cials, owners, or worked in any other administrative capacity, plus as builders and media representatives.
The three also felt there should be an annual salute to one of the hockey teams that either once played or still plays in New Hampshire. The honored team’s history would be celebrated, and the final salute would be made by the Manchester Monarchs, whose players, for one home game, would wear the jerseys of the team being honored by the Hall of Fame. The jerseys, after the game, then would be auctioned to benefit the Organization.
Other ideas at that first meeting were discussed and soon afterwards an effort was made to begin the writing of the sport’s history in the state. It was discovered quickly that the history is vast and began November 17, 1883, when on the lower pond at St. Paul’s School in Concord, the first organized game in the United States was played by St. Paul’s students. Twenty years later, in 1903, a youngster named Hobey Baker arrived at St. Paul’s School from Pennsylvania and by 1909, when he graduated, he had written his own historical chapter, not only in the state but internationally, too. Baker was an outstanding skater and fashioned a reputation for high sportsmanship.
History shows that four communities – Berlin, Concord, Manchester and Nashua– were central to the early development of the sport in the state. In the 1910s, amateur hockey began in Berlin with the organization of mill teams. Additionally, numerous other communities had teams for short periods of time.
The Brown Paper Company, beginning in 1919, guided the destiny of Berlin’s many hockey players. Downing Potter Brown, one of the owners of Brown Company, graduated from Williams College in 1908 and was captain of the hockey team. He organized one of the first company sponsored hockey leagues in the United States, consisting of four teams. They began by playing on the outdoor rink directly in front of the old grandstand behind home plate in the city ball park and later in a modern rink on Pleasant Street in 1922 built by the Brown Company. DP Brown coached the first hockey team at Berlin High School in the 1921/22 season.
In 1920, Father Lauziere formed the “Canadiens.” His team, among others, played against Maine’s top teams from Lewiston and Waterville. In 1923, the Berlin Athletic Association (BAA) was formed and until 1928 was a major hockey force. From 1928 until the middle of 1930s, the Berlin Hockey Club was a power and in 1928 many games were played at the Boston Arena as part of New England competition. In 1937, the Berlin Maroons were formed and shortly thereafter were a dominant team, winning New England AAU championships in 1941, 1949 and 1951. The Maroons also played throughout North America and won the National AHA championships in 1954, 1967 and 1968, and continued to play competitively until the early 1990s.
In Concord, the hockey history began circa 1927 with the Concord Hockey Club (CHC) which played at the John Higgins rink on the site of the old Highway Hotel off Bridge Street. In 1939, the White Park team won the New Hampshire AAU championship and was runner-up in the 1939 New England AAU championships. Among the early teams, Sacred Heart Catholic parish and the Millville Bruins were two of the most prominent. Sacred Heart began play at the rink on Pleasant Street in January of 1932. In fact, in their last year, the United States Olympic team played Sacred Heart on January 9, 1952 in Concord. The Bruins played at Kimball Pond in Hopkinton, and in Concord at both Memorial Field and on Horseshoe Pond.
The teams that later followed were the Concord Shamrocks (1962-1966), the Coachmen (1966-1968), the Eastern Olympics(1967-1973) who played in the New England Hockey League and the Can-Am. Finally, the Budmen started in the fall of 1975 and competed for twelve seasons in the New England Hockey League and later independently.
In Manchester, St. Jean (de Baptiste) Maple Leafs started things off in the late 1930s and played at the Kelly Street church grounds through the early 1960s. Beginning in 1958, the Manchester Beavers played on the Dorrs Pond Rink for five seasons. The Tam-O-Shanters and Alpine Club each started in 1962 and played outdoors for a couple seasons then when the JFK Coliseum opened for the winter of 1964 they moved into their new home. In the fall of 1966, the Blackhawks were formed and competed independently and then played in the New England Hockey League through the spring of 1970. The Monarchs then came into existence and played four seasons in the Can-Am League. At the end of the 1973-1974 season, everything ceased. The Manchester Blackhawks came back in the late 1970’s for a second go-round and competed against the Budmen and the Maroons among others, in New England Hockey League. The last organized men’s team to compete out of Manchester was the Busch Blues. That team came on the scene in the fall of 1986 and competed for five seasons.
In Nashua, the Club National team began play in 1923 and continued for more than a decade. Two of the many Club National players, Ted Stackhouse and Art Lesieur both played in the NHL. In 1948-49 the Nashua Royals were formed and continued playing through the 1966-67 season. On March 24, 1952 they won a NE Class B Amateur Championship over the Rye Seahawks in Lynn MA. Their last five years they played in the Granite State Hockey
League playing in the last three championships and winning the best of five series over the Manchester Tams on March 22, 1966. The very next season, the Maple Leafs took over and competed in the New England Hockey league for four additional years.
Today, the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey remains a self-governing, 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization incorporated with the State of New Hampshire. Our directors each year work to raise money to preserve the donated archives, including historical literature, records, photos, fi lm, clothing, equipment, trophies, etc. Many of those artifacts are on display or available for viewing on our on-line museum. We continue to search for artifacts and film from the old days. Anyone wishing to donate either is encouraged to do so.
From that first meeting of three enthusiastic hockey buffs, the New Hampshire Hockey Hall of Fame was born and the inaugural class of twelve inductees was recognized and enshrined February 17, 2002 at the Puritan Backroom in Manchester. That evening, the Manchester Monarchs, in their AHL game, recognized the Manchester Blackhawks and wore replica uniforms from of the 1960s.
Feb. 17, 2002
Mar. 23, 2003*
Mar. 20, 2004
Mar. 6, 2005
Mar. 26, 2006
Apr. 1, 2007
Mar. 2, 2008
Oct. 18, 2009
Dec. 5, 2010
Oct. 30, 2011
Oct. 28, 2012
Oct. 27, 2013
Oct. 26, 2014
Oct. 25, 2015
Oct. 23, 2016
Oct. 22, 2017
Oct. 21, 2018
Oct. 20, 2019
Puritan Conference Center
Executive Court Conference Center
St. Paul’s School
Phillips Exeter Academy
Notre Dame High School
Berlin High School
Concord High School
Hanover High School
Saint Anselm College
New England College
Yes, hockey is as strong as ever in New Hampshire. Beginning with youth hockey and up through high school and
prep school, both boys and girls programs abound. Additionally, junior programs are strong. At the college and
university levels, UNH and Dartmouth lead the way, along with New England College, Saint Anselm, Southern NH,
Plymouth State University, Franklin Pierce and Daniel Webster.
* In the fall of 2003, the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey was formed and a new Board of Directors was elected and the Association’s new name officially adopted.