Skip to Main Content
Mount Allison University Libraries | Music Library
Banner image link to Mount Allison UniveristyMount Allison University ArchivesImage Map

Three Cheers: Lacrosse

A virtual exhibition on the early days of sports at Mount Allison University.



A committee from the class of 1888 [1] introduced the game of lacrosse to University students in 1886. [2] At that time only three competitive sports were played regularly on campus: cricket, baseball, and handball. Competitive gymnastics did not begin until 1887, and rugby football introduced to University students between 1876 and 1882 was not played regularly by students until the University competed against its first outside team in 1890.

Lacrosse enjoyed a brief period of popularity. Edgar E. Hewson, class of 1891, remarked in an anniversary edition of The Argosy (9 March 1940), that "Cricket was in vogue as was lacrosse, but hand ball was the prime favorite and the court was usually in use." [3] After 1888 [4] lacrosse was no longer played, due in part to the lack of an adequate playing field. [5]

A suggestion that lacrosse be revived as a spring sport was made in the May 1895 issue of The Argosy, which declared that lacrosse was "one of the most manly and exciting of games." [6] However, by then track and field had begun to emerge as the most popular spring sport for male students.

Mount Allison University lacrosse team, 1886

Team members: Sheffield, Harry A.; Smith, Aubrey C.; Romans, Charles; DesBarres, Fred W.W.; Smith, Harry E.L.; Seaman, William; Wilson, Thomas A.; Ayers, William; Pascoe, William W.; Irwin, Walter D.; Blaikie, T. David; Casey, Clarence E.; DesBrisay, Fred T.; Sangster, Herbert; Tweedie, William Morley; Theakston, Henry S.; McNeill, J. Boyd; Harrison, G. Hugh; Oxley, Charles H.; Taylor, Hedley C.; Keith, Heber S.; Matthews, William C.; Pickles, Fred H.; Comben, Charles; Dawson, George F.; Blatch, George L.; McCoy, Wensley B.; Crowe, R. William; Higgins, Adam B.; McAnn, Charles W.; Prowse, Samuel W.; MacLauchlan, Weil.

Mount Allison University Archives, Picture Collection, accession 2007.07/36. May only be reproduced with permission of the Mount Allison University Archives.


[1] Mount Allison Record, vol. XIII, no. 5, Jan. 1930, "Letter from the class of '88," by George F. Dawson, p. 81

[2] Argosy, vol. XIV, no. 1, Oct. 1886, [untitled], p. 6

[3] Argosy, Mar. 9, 1940, "Mount Allison Of Earlier Years," by E.E. Hewson '91, p. 16

[4] Mount Allison University Archives, accession 8523, in Picture Collection, folder 10: photograph of Academy "La Crosse Club," Oct. 1887 (this is the latest evidence this writer found of lacrosse being played at Mount Allison)

[5] Mount Allison Record, vol. XIII, no. 5, Jan. 1930, "Letter from the class of '88," by George F. Dawson, p. 81

[6] Argosy, vol. XXIV, no. 8, May 1895, "Lacrosse," p. 2