How Orangeville Made It's Mark
I was speaking with someone who works for the local newspaper about the tshirts and the designs and stories behind them, when I was asked..."what's Orangeville's story?", it was followed quickly with the question, "when are you going to do an Orangeville tshirt?". At first I was a little slow to respond. As much as I love history there wasn't anything jumping out at me.
I started to do a little research and first thought Orangeville's story would have something to do with the railway. Oville was the split in the line...either head west along the tracks, or further north to Owen Sound. It was an important junction that developed the community and grew the village into a town. But the railway didn't do it for me...it wasn't defining enough. Don't get me wrong, I loved learning about railway wrecks and Brakemen risking their lives, but like every small town that the train went through it wasn't special. I continued to do some research reading countless articles and obituaries from the Dufferin County Museum, and then soon enough I found the nugget I was looking for.
There was a story I was reading about how the everyone came together bringing scrap pieces of wood or anything to burn to the centre of town on Broadway. They were hooting and hollering the entire time celebrating the big win. It was the late 1800s and Orangeville was victorious in Ontario Lacrosse Championships. The small town was becoming a powerhouse in the world of sports, and it was the start of its Lacrosse Dynasty.
Back then nobody had ever really heard of Orangeville but thanks to their lacrosse team, "The Dufferins" people soon recognized the name and associated it with experts of the game. When people said "Orangeville", they responded with..."oh, that's where all the lacrosse players come from." It wasn't unusual to close up shop and head over to watch the game. It was exciting! Often the rivalry will spill over into the fans sparking fist fights on and off the field. It was a hot bed alright and games were played at Idylwyld Park.
First they were known as "The Mechanics". They had a rivalry with another local team called, "The Olympians" and together they formed "The Dufferins" or as they were commonly known, "The Duffs" in 1878. No one was paid. They played for the love of the game...and were great at it. They won many Championships as the Green & White continuing well on into the 1900s and now in the new Millennium. That same spirit of competition and expertise lives on today in 2017.
Orangeville is still a hot-bed for Lacrosse with the Northmen now carrying the torch and capturing the pride of the community. When it came down to it the Orangeville shirt or design had to be about lacrosse. Lacrosse defined a small town and brought the entire community together...and it still does.
The design is simple...lacrosse sticks, the town's founding year and a 'wink' to the past. Orangeville is a lacrosse town...it always has been and I would argue, always will be. For all those players, parents, grandparents and super fans...this shirt is for you.