Robert H. (Bob) Dunbar, who was born in Nova Scotia, is one of the greats in American and Canadian curling.
Dunbar, an all-around athlete who competed in track and field, ice skating and roller skating, was introduced to curling after he moved to Winnipeg in the late 1870s. While working as a bartender at a Winnipeg hotel located near a curling club, Dunbar spent his spare time practicing at the curling club.
At the time, curling was played according to Scottish rules and regulations. Dunbar was credited with introducing the running, or knockout, game.
According to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Dunbar "perfected the forerunner of the sliding delivery, a lower profile release utilizing more leg drive and a short forward follow-through. He also departed from the basic draw game to concentrate on a take-out style that soon became a recognized staple of curling in Manitoba."
In 1901, Dunbar moved to St. Paul before moving to Eveleth in 1937, where he spent the last 20 years of his life. He was a member of nine teams that won Minnesota state curling titles.
According to an article in Ramsey County History Magazine in 1996, Dunbar "was credited with creating interest in Minnesota curling after his arrival in St. Paul" and was "known as the Lion of the North" and "the one and only Bob."
The story went to to say, "His exploits were faithfully covered by St. Paul's newspapers. Dunbar won the state championship Merriam Medal (named after Governor William Merriam) nearly a dozen times."
He set a world record for scoring under the game's scoring rules of the time. In 1937, a newspaper story about his career said he won trophies "too numerous to mention."
Dunbar is a member of the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.
Teams: Teams in Eveleth and St. Paul.