The Port Huron Chess Club - A Brief History

                                    Port Huron Chess Club Marks 52nd Year

January 2021 commemorates the 52nd year of operation for the Port Huron Chess Club. Founded in January of 1969, Washington Junior High School’s multipurpose room on the corner10th and White Streets in Port Huron served as its initial venue. Founding members were Lon Rutkofske, a first year teacher at Washington that year, Robert Duncan, a veteran industrial arts teacher at Crull Junior High School,  Norman McLeod, a drafting specialist working at Mueller Brass Company and John Haake, an irascible local retiree that enjoyed blowing cigar smoke (Most chess clubs permitted smoking back then) in your face as you played him and scaring you to death when behind the wheel. Lon took the initiative to seek city sponsorship by meeting with Joseph Marshall, City Recreation Director for Port Huron early that year. Joe and his successors, James Downey,and Betty Dunn have been staunch supporters of our efforts financially by providing funds to purchase sets, clocks, boards, trophies, and supplies ,as well as, securing the a host of free meeting sites throughout the community over the years. In addition to the Washington School multipurpose room, the PHCC has also enjoyed comfort and accommodation at SC4, Peru Village on 7th Street, the American Legion- Charles Hammond Post on 6th Street, the Adult Activities Center on 7th Street, and finally, at the newly constructed Palmer Park Recreation Center. The winds of change have shifted over the years as the PHCC enjoyed membership rolls as meager as 4, and as expansive as 125, all the while, through thick and thin, adversity and abundance, a hearty core stood fast to keep the dream alive, the pieces banging and the clocks ticking.

Veterans of the PHCC hope that the new year will bless us once again with abundance in the form of increased participation, and continued support of the Port Huron Recreation Department and Director Nancy Winzer, who has been very encouraging in providing us with new digital clocks as well as facilities support. Managers, Amanda Dickinson and Natacha Hayden, of the Palmer Park Recreation Center have continued the strong support for the PHCC, and we look forward to yet another promising, productive year. The PHCC welcomes new Palmer Park Supervisor Ronda Bingham as she takes the reins at Palmer Park. We are looking forward to yet another great chess season...that is, as soon as the pandemic permits!


Port Huron Chess Club

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Plaque 2018

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