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Antique Pool Table Returned

Gabriel Dumont's now antique billiards table, is restored to its original home in Batoche, Saskatchewan after 121 years.


Antique Pool Table Returned

Antique Pool Table Returned

Around 1855, when billiards was actually quite popular in Canada, a now historic antique pool table was hauled away by Canadian soldiers after their victory in Batoche. The billiard table, and other looted items have become identity symbols in this area, which is predominantly Metis occupied.

Antique Pool Table From 1800s Returned

Gabriel Dumont's Pool Table at Batoche National Historic Site

In early 2006, news came that the antique pool table would be returned to Batoche, after is lengthy stay in a Manitoba penitentiary. Needless to say, this was a victorious moment for the people, and for the area.

Mark Calette of the Batoche National Historic Site, where the billiards table was unveiled, indicated that the return of Dumont's antique pool table "symbolizes a chance for us to reflect that yes, these things were taken, but now they're coming home." He says that, "For the families, including mine, that lost everything; this kind of symbolizes a return."

Cheryl Penny and Michael Dumont unveiling the billiard table.
Cheryl Penny and Michael Dumont unveiling the billiard table.

Dumont's antique pool table is a mahogany beauty, six feet by 12 feet, with the words "Northwest" engraved on the underside of the pool table's bed. When returned, the table was slightly battered and required a new felt cloth surface, but was otherwise in good shape.

The famously antique pool table was used in Dumont's "Stopping Place" south of Batoche where travelers could enjoy a drink, play some billiards, and have a rest. All this was in the late 19th century, when billiards was quite popular with tournaments even getting press coverage. Gabriel Dumont's acquaintance Louis Riel would often stop in to relax, drink, and to challenge Dumont to a game on the ole pool table. Dumont was an excellent billiards player, but it is said that when Louis would come to play billiards at Gabriel's club, Louis had to spot Gabriel points as he was reportedly even better.

Metis elders claim that Dumont's antique billiard table had ended up at Stony Mountain penitentiary in Manitoba. It is believed that a prison warden who was also a transport officer in the Canadian forces, took the table there after the battle in Batoche that eventually lead to Riel's death by hanging. After its stint at the penitentiary, the billiard table was used in the warden's home for decades, until it was eventually transferred to Parks Canada where it sat dormant in a warehouse for many years.

First shot taken by Elder, Ed Bruce
First shot taken by Elder, Ed Bruce.

Gabriel Dumont's pool table
Gabriel Dumont's pool table.

Batouche Billiard Table
The Batouche billiard table.

The Gabriel Dumont pool table.
The Gabriel Dumont pool table.

Batoche National Historic Site of Canada, in Saskatewan, Canada

Dumont's pool table is currently on display at the Batoche National Historic Site of Canada, in Saskatewan, Canada.

  • Title: Antique Pool Table Returned
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 7/23/2007 12:31:00 PM
  • Last Updated: 9/20/2016 12:49:12 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

Antique Pool Table Returned Comments

  1. apettyjohnapettyjohn from AB, Canada on 1/5/2009 4:40:00 PM

    Where can one see the Gabriel Dumont pool table?

  2. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 9/20/2016 12:51:01 PM

    Gabriel Dumont's pool table is permanently on display at Batoche National Historic Site in Saskatchewan, Canada which sits 88 km N.E. of Saskatoon; 26 km from Rosthern; and 20 km from Duck Lake.

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