Loomis & Kent Part I: The Spoon Game Legends
Once the Kent boys returned home, the
Batchelders discovered that a silver teaspoon, one from a wedding set
belonging to the Batchelders, was missing. Mr. Batchelder wrote to
Father Sill, Kent's founder, about the missing spoon. Heated words were
exchanged defending the honesty of the young men at each school until
finally, the matter was dropped.
In June of 1922, the guilty young Kent football player went to Father
Sill and confessed. Legend has their conversation ending with the
decision to spare the Loomis School the pain of opening an old wound.
Kent would hold onto the spoon, under wraps for fifty years.
About 1937 (sixteen years after the theft) Mr. Batchelder caught wind
of the existence of the spoon on Kent’s grounds. The information came
quite by coincidence when a former Kent boy roomed with a former Loomis
boy at Harvard (though some say Yale). The Kent boy told his roommate
that Sill had given the spoon to a Senior prefect. Placed in a special
metal box with an unbreakable lock, the spoon was to be hidden each
year in a safe place, known only to a tiny inner circle.
One year, as legend has it, the spoon was stowed in an apple tree. When
the tree was cut down, the spoon had to be retrieved in the dead of
night by picking apart the remains of the tree by hand.
It has also been said that the spoon was hidden on the under side of a
bridge across the Houstonic River, which flows near Kent. In the
spring, high water washed out the bridge along with the spoon.
According to an October 25, 1947, Log article, "When Father Sill was
notified, he said, 'Go get it.' Therefore, the river was dredged (by
night, of course) for a week, and the spoon was finally discovered in
the mud several hundred yards from its original site under the bridge."
At Father Chalmers thirty-fifth anniversay dinner, Kent's new
headmaster told the whole story and offered the spoon back to Mr. B.
who graciously declined. He insisted that the spoon stay at Kent.
Father Chalmers then suggested that a large spoon serve as a permanent
football trophy to be held by the victorious school. Kent would secure
the spoon "to in someway ... return to Loomis for our keeping borrowed
The lovely, large sterling silver serving spoon Kent chose was made in 1824 in York, England.
Loomis promptly won the spoon in the 1947 game (8-0) before a crowd of
1000 people and returned to the Island with the new spoon. That first
year, Mr. Batchelder served stuffing from the Thanksgiving turkey with
the spoon and resolved that before the year was out, each senior would
eat something served from that fabled table utensil.
The Fall 1947 Loomis Alumni Bulletin displays photographs of the B.'s
and Father Chalmers at Kent. There is also a picture of Mr. B. showing
Father Sill the Trophy Spoon.