Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Chestnut
, p. 30

Hooper, John, Author
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Item Type:
Written: 16 August 1995
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Kawartha Lakes Public Library
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190 Kent St W.
Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y6
(705) 324-5632

Full Text

Something I haven't seen in years is boys playing the old "Chestnut Game."

As young lads we would gather chestnuts in the fall of the year and play what was a very popular game among school boys.

This was a game where, after collecting chestnuts that had fallen to the ground from a horse-chestnut tree, we would drill a small hole through the nut from top to bottom, then place a string (preferably meat cord that we would coax out of local butchers) through the hole and make a big knot located at the bottom of the chestnut. We would then seek out friends who had done the same thing and challenge them to a game.

The idea was to hold your chestnut as still as possible dangling from the string which was approximately one foot long, while your opponent held the string from his chestnut in one hand while holding his chestnut in the other and then, with a great downward thrust, would attempt to hit your chestnut with his in hopes of breaking it. Turns were taken alternately until a winner was declared once an opponent's chestnut was split and broken.

One trick we used to use was to get Mom to place our chestnuts in the oven to firm them up and thus make them harder to break. Some fellows were known to go a whole season without losing. Smarter guys only played with those within his own age group because of the strength advantage a bigger fellow would have.

There were occasions when the back of the hand or one's knuckles would get hit and believe me you knew he had missed the target!

Finding Chestnut trees in Lindsay wasn't all that difficult to do and I especially remember one of the biggest trees I have ever seen was in McDonnell Park near the base of the hill behind the Royal Canadian Legion.

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Looking Back: Chestnut