Hockey in Warroad dates back more than 100 years and has been a staple of this small Minnesota town since the early 1900s. Legend has it, in 1904 when George Marvin hopped off a train in Warroad, the first question he asked was, ‘You don’t happen to play hockey, do you?”
The roots of Warroad hockey can be traced to those days at the dawn of the 20th Century, when the sport was played on ponds, the Warroad River and in backyard rinks, traditions that continue here to this day.
The first meeting to organize a team in Warroad was in 1904, and according to the local newspaper, the first outdoor rink was built by a team of community volunteers in 1907.
The tradition of hockey in Warroad would not be what it is today without George’s son, Cal Marvin, the “Godfather of Warroad Hockey.” Cal was always the sport’s biggest supporter, and in 1949, he led a massive fundraising operation that was able to gather the $9,500 needed to build the first indoor rink in town, Memorial Arena … a rink Cal affectionately called “The Castle on the Corner.”
Funding for Cal’s “Castle” was raised locally and was used to purchase loads of Canadian lumber. The lumber was brought to the Marvin Windows factory planer, which turned that rough lumber into the first set of hockey rink boards. The arena was a labor of love for many in the area, which was built almost entirely by volunteers. The volunteer spirit holds true to this day and remains an integral part of Warroad hockey success.