Frank Lally began making Lacrosse sticks in the 1880’s while still involved in competitive play with the Cornwall Lacrosse Club. The quality of his craftsmanship became well known and he received a special diploma when he exhibited his sticks at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. In 1903, Joe Lally, Frank’s brother, took over the stick manufacturing business. The Lally Lacrosse Manufacturing Co boasted, within it many catalogs, that there were more Lally Lacrosses used than all other makes in the world combined. All of the Lally sticks were made by Native Americans who worked in the factory. Several catalogs that I have read state that some of his craftsman had been with him as long as 35 years. . When Joe Lally retired, he sold his equipment to the Chisholm Lacrosse Manufacturing Company – which was a company that was owned and operated by Native Americans who made their home at the St. Regis Reserve near Cornwall, Canada. By keeping in touch with the leading players in Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, The Lally's were able to interpret the trend of their requirements and give their models an individuality which stands along in the art of Lacrosse manufacture. For many decades, the company had limited competition - with individuals within the Ohsweken Reserve such as the Martins and Skeys. LALLY’S Lacrosse sticks were used exclusively by the Canadian Olympic Lacrosse Team in their match at the Olympic Games in London, also by the All Canadian Team on their Australian Tour, and the Capital Lacrosse Team on their tour of England. They were also used exclusively by the New Westminster Lacrosse Team, the present World’s Professional Champions: The Vancouver Amateur Lacrosse Team, World’s Amateur Champions, and by the Vancouver Lacrosse Team, ex-World Professional Champions. The Tecumsehs and Torontos of Toronto; The Nationals, The Shamrocks, and Montrealers of Montreal; The Cornwalls of Cornwall; The Winnipegs of Winnipeg Man; The Victorias of Victoria B.C. and all other teams throughout Canada, the United States, England Australia, and New Zealand use more LALLY’S Lacrosse sticks than all other makes combined.
Lally's Ladies College Special: This stick dates to about 1930. Lally's recognized the opportunity that faced them in the late 1920's and early 1930's when women's lacrosse began to expload both in North America as well as England. They produced a lighter than usual stick which also appeared to be a bit narrower in the head.
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Lally's Box Special: The In 1933, we begin to see models of equipment produced specifically for the newly introduced sport of Box Lacrosse. Spalding was one of the first sporting goods companies to embrace the new sport by distributing a line of sticks made specifically for this game by Lally. The stick to the left is one that was made by Lally's around 1933 and is one of the heaviest and well crafted wooden sticks ever made. (left)
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There was an article published in 1965 that warned of the dwindling supply "concentrated growth hickory". It was thought that a tree had to be a specific age and size or else the wood would not bend properly - which resulted in many breaks during the production process. Only the trunk of the tree would yield the best wood that was suitable for a lacrosse stick and to that end - only about 8 sticks could be crafted from one trunk. Mass quantities of such prime wood was so scarce the the Chisholm manufacturing facility began to advertise in distant newspapers for the wood that they would need. It was only 3-5 years later that the folks that would eventually form STX would develop and mass produce the composite lacrosse head - effectively ushering out an era that last several hundred years of North American Indian craftsmanship. Only a handful of skilled craftsman continue the traditional 1 piece sticks process such as those made by Patterson Lacrosse as well as the Mohawk Lacrosse Manufacturing company.
Lally Lacrosse Sticks had been prominently featured and advertised for sale in Spalding & Bros sporting equipment catalogs beginning in the late 1890's through the 1930's. Some of the early sticks were given model names that were comprised of simply either a number or a letter. In 1908, Lally's made at least 8 separate and distinct models and gave their top selling model the name of "Extra Special No. 0". THe catalog provided a very detailed description of this model as can be seen below.
"The latest, most modern and perfectly constructed Lacrosse Stick made in the world. The fames are selected from the choicest second growth butt cuts of hickory. Two distinct strands of the best English clock cord are run as leaders instead of one. Both pass through the same hole at the crook thereby giving double strength leaders. The cross strings are knit to each of these leaders separately and in such a manner as to also give double strength cross strings. The top guard string is a "double twister." Each standard attached to the guard string is "locked," thereby keeping them in their places at all times. At the crook there are two cross strings which hold the leading strings up to the wood thereby allowing the ball to go off the stick with more accuracy and speed. A patent on this stick has been applied for by us and we intend to fully protect the same."
Other model names that appear within the 1908 catalog are the Extra Special Goal No. 0, Special No. C, XXX No S, No 1R, Clock Cord No 20, Men's Single Strung Lacrosse No. '30, Youths' Special No. 40, Youths' Special No. 50, and Boys' No. 60.
Lally's Boys Lacrosse Stick: This stick was hand crafted specifically for the young child - most likely for kids under 10 years old. It is very small and light weight. It was smallest model they made (next size was the Youth). The head was small enough to only require 3 leathers running down from the scoop to the handle. circa 1915