from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Stick-making factories have been around for the better part of two centuries in Canada. Roustan Hockey's is 175 years in the making. What follows is a short version of this lengthy history that appeared in The Hockey News Money and Power 2023 magazine issue and a full version.
When you discuss the genesis of the hockey stick industry, you have to start in Ayr, Ont. Situated south and west, respectively, of the larger cities of Kitchener and Cambridge, the small town originated in 1824 with an initial population of 230 people. Ayr originally was a trio of settlements and virtually all of its initial settlers were Scottish tradesmen, farmers and artisans.
By 1847, the company known today as Roustan Hockey (full disclosure: Roustan Hockey is owned by the owner and publisher of The Hockey News, W. Graeme Roustan) began as the Ayr Machinery Works, a division of the John Watson Manufacturing Company. It made farm implements including mowing, threshing and reaping tools, as well as plow handles, straw cutters, reapers and stoves. But in 1882, the company was purchased by The Hilborn Company. As fate would have it, new owner William Hilborn was a fan of the flourishing sport of hockey.