Headlocks at the Lakehead : wrestling in Fort William and Port Arthur, 1913-1933 / by Charles Nathan Hatton.
Hatton, Charles Nathan
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"In the Northern Ontario communities o f Fort William and Port Arthur, collectively known as the Lakehead, wrestling emerged as one of the most popular spectator sports in the region by 1913 and remained so for the next thirteen years. Far from being under the dominion of a single, multi-national corporate entity, professional wrestling was a business that was locally controlled and functioned on the basis of strong local talent. The growth of professional wrestling at the Lakehead directly bolstered the sport of amateur wrestling, and the two branches of athletics enjoyed a strong and mutually beneficial relationship during this period. Wrestling’s rise to popularity, however, occurred at a time when class antagonism, ethnic tension, and inter-city rivalries threatened the social fabric of the region. Many of the divisions that were present in Fort William and Port Arthur were also mirrored in the sport of wrestling. Wrestling therefore existed not merely as an isolated spectator and participatory sport but as an activity that reflected, was influenced by, and at times took advantage of, the social tensions that were present in the communities during the early twentieth century." -- Introduction Includes photograph reproductions of George Walker, Ernie Arthur, John Belanger, Walter Miller, Waino Ketonen, Henry Karhunsaari, Al L'esperance, Alphons Oja, Nahjus Club Wrestlers 1920's, David Takala, Ole Kolehmainen.