Hockey Gods

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Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on April 11th, 2020

Candy manufacturer Charles F. Gunther built the third Chicago Coliseum at 1513 South Wabash Avenue in 1899. He purchased Libby Prison, a structure in Richmond, Virginia, constructed as a warehouse which became a Confederate prison during the Civil War. Gunther had it dismantled, shipped to Chicago on 132 railroad cars, and rebuilt in 1889 as the Libby Prison War Museum, which displayed memorabilia from the Civil War. After about a decade the old prison was torn down again, except for a castellated wall that became part of the new Chicago Coliseum. The preserved part of Libby's facade led to the misconception that the Coliseum itself had once housed Union prisoners of war. (In fact, the only penitents to "serve time" within the Coliseum's walls were Hockey players sentenced to the penalty box.)

In 1926, the Coliseum built an ice rink at the arena to support professional ice Hockey. The Coliseum hosted the Chicago Black Hawks of the National Hockey League / NHL from 1926–1929 with a seating capacity of 6,000. It was also the home of the Chicago Cardinals (later renamed Chicago Americans) of the American Hockey Association / AHA for the season of 1926–27 and the Chicago Shamrocks of the AHA from 1931–32.

In June 1928, fight promoter Paddy Harmon announced plans to construct Chicago Stadium, with the Black Hawks as the marquee tenants.

As the 1928–29 NHL season approached, the Stadium was not yet ready, and Black Hawks owner Major Frederic McLaughlin had had a falling-out with Harmon. Consequently, the Black Hawks arranged to continue playing at the Coliseum. However, they could only get ice time through January 1929; they played the remainder of their "home" games in Detroit and in Fort Erie, Ontario, across the Niagara River from Buffalo.

The Black Hawks were back at the Coliseum as the 1929–30 season opened, but negotiations with the Stadium resumed in the fall of 1929 after Harmon was deposed as head of the Chicago Stadium Corporation. In December 1929, the team began play at the Stadium.

In 1932, another dispute led the Black Hawks to return temporarily to the Coliseum, for their first three home games of the 1932–33 season. On November 21, the Black Hawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 2–1, in their final game on Coliseum ice. Canadiens superstar Howie Morenz was the last player to score an NHL goal at the Coliseum, assisted by Aurel Joliat and Johnny Gagnon, at 7:06 of the second period.

NOTE - This is a postcard from circa 1910 (prior to ice Hockey being played there)

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