Michigan Roller Skating, 1880s-1950
The first known use of roller skates dates back to 1743, when a performer wore them onstage. From there, skates kept being modified, simplified, and updated to what we have now.
I never got the hang of roller skates.....ice skates were worse. I stayed away from roller rinks because I didn't know how to skate...no one ever showed me how. I was well into adulthood when I started watching how others roller skated until I figured out how to do it. Even so, I still don't do it.
Ice skating, as I said, was a hopeless task for me. As hard as I tried, I just could not balance myself on those thin little blades of steel...I bruised my ankles numerous times giving it a shot. When we were kids, we'd go down to a local pond with our ice skates and get right out on the ice. And there I stood, on the bank, not able to function. To this day, I refuse to try anymore.
I did get a pair of roller blades about 20 years ago and I had fun on those...I wouldn't mind having another pair....mine got stolen.
The photo gallery below shows some great old Michigan roller rinks, some memorabilia, and a skater or two. It's good to know that, while so much is becoming outdated and discontinued, roller rinks still survive. As long as there's no ice, I just might show up again.
Take a look below and see if they stir a memory or two!
A GALLERY OF MICHIGAN ROLLER RINKS (and skaters)