Founder of Roundpoint Lacrosse Stick Factory

Frank "Tewesatene" Roundpoint

 (1899 -1968)

Lacrosse Stick Maker

Founder of Roundpoint Lacrosse Stick Factory

Akwesasne Mohawk Nation


Written by Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell.

Executive Director at Centre for Nation Building

Born into a Lacrosse Family 

Frank "Tewesatene" Roundpoint was born on Cornwall Island in 1899, he attended the reserve day school on the island just long enough to learn how to read and write. He was a very shy and quiet person so he received additional education studies from his mother before going to work with his brother Alex in the nearby towns surrounding Akwesasne.


Like many families in Akwesasne, Frank "Tewesatene" and Alex "Ahronioktha" were born into a lacrosse family where everyone had a hand in the making of lacrosse sticks. They were neighbors to the White brothers who included John (Te wah en na son) White, already a famous lacrosse player, Mathew White well known lacrosse stick maker and their brothers, Louie, Lawrence and Peter, who were pretty good lacrosse players and stick makers themselves.



Frank "Tewesatene" Roundpoint. He had a vision of building a lacrosse factory in Akwesasne, which

comprised of all indigenous staff capable of supplying a worldwide market demand for lacrosse sticks.


The Beginning 

Frank "Tewesatene"- (He changes to ice cold) and his brother Alex "Ahroniontha" - (He brings down the sky) started their lacrosse stick making journey by working for the Lally Lacrosse Stick Manufacturing company at Cornwall Ontario in the 1920's. After a short employment period, they became disillusioned with the factory shop environment in Cornwall and came back to Cornwall Island with the intent of starting up their own all-Indigenous Lacrosse stick factory. Soon other Mohawk craftsmen came home as well and brought their stick carving skills back to Cornwall Island. Due to the geographic nature of the island, with Canada and the United States bordering on both sides and with access to the U.S. and Canadian railways. It didn't take long for U.S. Colleges, Universities and Canadian lacrosse teams to begin ordering lacrosse sticks in bulk directly from the new Cornwall Island Mohawk lacrosse Stick Factory.


The Roundpoint Brothers connect with Colin Chisholm

Frank Roundpoint was a mild-tempered easy going type person and widely known as an expert in the craft of lacrosse stick-making. His brother Alec was more an outdoors man and knew the wooded area around Akwesasne so he knew how to maintain a steady flow of hickory tree logs for their present and future operations.

Frank knew the age of a hickory tree that they would need to select for cutting, while choosing others to grow for future cutting. They made a good team, one man who loved the outdoors and the other who knew the ancient craft of stick-making, still they needed someone who had business experience with the outside world so they would keep looking for the right person. It was at this time that they made an overture to a Scottish teacher named Colin Chisholm who had recently started working at the Island Day School. He agreed to assist them by taking some of their lacrosse sticks to national lacrosse meetings to test the market. He soon found out that there was tremendous interest in the purchasing of their lacrosse sticks in bulk orders, so he set up the marketing and distribution system. He would later become a partner in their new lacrosse business operations. Colin Chisholm looked after the promotion of their product and gave them the exposure needed.

High Demand

The demand for lacrosse sticks made by the Roundpoint family grew into an international world market, with orders coming in from all corners of the world. Colin did the promotion and marketing and Frank produced the quality sticks needed with “quality and quantity” became their working motto.


Commitment to Community


Frank Tewesatene Roundpoint had become the stabilizing force in the Akwesasne community. The workers trusted him and the community respected him. His vision of producing the highest quality products of lacrosse sticks to the world was slowly becoming a reality. The Roundpoint lacrosse stick factory was headed to becoming a lacrosse manufacturing dynasty.


Frank Tewesatene would attract the best craft people from the Akwesasne community, and within a short time period, the lacrosse factory would employ many families of local community people, who excelled in the various areas of lacrosse stick making. The business grew rapidly, and soon became overwhelmed with the volume of orders from Canada, the United States and a growing list of new orders from Europe.


The quality and volume produced by the Roundpoint family met the order request to cover the sporting world's need for traditional wooden lacrosse sticks. For the next fifty years, the Roundpoint family supplied 97 percent of lacrosse sticks orders to the world. With the growing success in sales, the island factory had to expand in size, as well as the volume of sticks manufactured. Most of the families did the lacing of lacrosse sticks from their individual homes. A worker from the factory would come to all the homes and pick up the finished product once a week and leave new stick frames to be laced for the following week.


Frank Roundpoint didn't just stay in the lacrosse stick manufacturing side; he also supported the local area's lacrosse teams through team sponsorship and taking a personal interest in the growth of the game by supplying lacrosse sticks to all minor teams in the area.

Frank had three sons (Wally, Gilbert and Ronald) and they all played lacrosse throughout their lives and became active in the various aspects of lacrosse stick making guided by their father to produce high quality sticks. From the outset the Roundpoint brothers provided the raw materials while the Mohawk craftsmen did the entire stick making. Mr. Chisholm became the marketing promoter and sales manager, which he continued to do until his retirement.




Moving the Product for a Growing Business


By the middle of the 1940's the business was thriving and filling the growing order list, employing more local craftsmen and adding on to a larger factory. Supply logistics was an issue as the bridges to and from the island were solely for trains, and raw materials could reach the factory only during the winter months when horses could haul the logs across the frozen St. Lawrence River. A year later, Alex's persuasive ways allowed them to rent a New York Central push-car and flat bed, which could be used while the regular train went to Ottawa and back. This would be the last contribution from Alec as he passed shortly after.


Given the continued success of the Roundpoint lacrosse stick factory, the Lally lacrosse factory slowly declined and Frank Lally approached Colin Chisholm to buy out his business, with the condition that he did not include the one remaining Roundpoint brother - Frank Roundpoint. Chisholm was not prepared to do that, but about one year later Lally agreed to sell the business to Colin Chisholm and Frank Roundpoint, at twice the price he offered a year earlier when Mr. Chisholm would have been the sole purchaser.



    Colin Chisholm


Colin Chisholm was respected by the Akwesasne stick makers and vice-versa; he was also well known to the Canadian lacrosse organizations and was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1972 in the "Builder” category. Chisholm was inducted as a “Builder” in the inaugural year of the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1997..


Abrupt and Tragic Ending


At the height of lacrosse popularity in Canada, USA as well as other parts of the world, the main provider of lacrosse sticks to the world came to an abrupt end, on June 8th, 1968, when the Roundpoint lacrosse factory burnt to the ground, including all the manufacturing equipment he had designed for use of production. Frank Tewesatene Roundpoint was devastated and he died a month later. He had reached the highest level of success without realizing how much he had accomplished. His mission to place a high-quality wooden lacrosse stick in the hands of every lacrosse player of all ages had been accomplished. Frank loved what he did as a craftsman as well as being a good provider to his community.


A Man and a Legacy Worth Remembering


Many years later after he had passed, Frank Tewesatene Roundpoint would receive recognition and appreciation by his own people in Akwesasne. He was acknowledged as having made a substantial contribution to the people of Akwesasne by building a lacrosse manufacturing factory and locating it in the Akwesasne Mohawk community. A factory he had started back in the early 1930's.

Almost a century later, the road leading to the former lacrosse factory was renamed to acknowledge his contribution to his home community. The old "factory road" name was changed to his Mohawk name of Tewesatene and thereafter honouring him with what became "The Tewesatene Road". Frank Roundpoint was inducted into the both the Akwesasne Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a Builder in 1997. He has not yet been inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame which presumably will be rectified in the future.