In case you missed the story last week, an elderly couple from Vermont went viral after it came to light that they’re the owners of a hockey stick that is estimated to be older than the game itself.
Gary and Germaine Morse are owners of the “Morse stick,” a wooden hockey stick that’s believed to be from a period between the 1850s and 1870s. The first recorded hockey game in history is from 1875.
The stick was likely made from a tree branch or root and has carvings near the blade and the handle, according to its auction listing from Goldin Auctions. It has been appraised at US$3.5 million and Goldin Auctions has listed it for auction with a starting bid of $100,000 USD.
“I find it to be a unique and most interesting artifact that fills the void in 19th century hockey history between shinny, ice polo and ice hockey and would be a valuable acquisition for any series hockey collector or museum curator,” J.W. Fitsell, a board member at the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ont. wrote in a letter to Gary Morse.
This isn’t the first time an ancient hockey stick went up for auction. In 2006, “the Rutherford Stick” — which dates back to between 1852 and 1856 — was sold for CAD$2.2 million.
For what it’s worth, the Morse’s aren’t looking to win the lottery with the stick. If it sells, they’ll be happy and feel fortunate enough to stash some money aside, but if it doesn’t they won’t cry over spilled milk.
“I don’t get too excited over the money part until it goes down the road,” Germaine said. “I don’t let it go to my head. We’re just hoping to build up a little retirement again.”