Pittsburg Bankers 1905-06
(Public Domain)
Family and Work

Ernest James Liffiton was born on 25 January, 1885. He grew up in a family of one sister and five brothers. His father, William Thomas Liffiton owned a jewelry store in Montreal.

In 1909, at the age of twenty-four, Ernie married Louise Jane Thomas. Although he played hockey professionally, census records of 1911 identify his job as "clerk." Louise Jane Thomas was born in 1891. In 1911 Ernie and Louise lived in Westmount, the district of Hochelaga, where Ernie's parents lived and worked.

Ernie did work in his father's Montreal wholesale jewelry and confection store, but in later years moved to Windsor where he worked in the steel industry. He and his second wife, Hedwig "Hattie" Rueckwald, raised four children: Ernest James Liffiton II, Eleanor Jessie, Douglas Edgar, and Kenneth Robert Liffiton. Ernie died 23 January, 1949, in Windsor.

Ernie Liffiton
(Courtesy of Ernest Liffiton II)

First Tier Player from Montreal

In December of 1907, the Pembrook Hockey Club refused to take to the ice against the Renfrew Creamery Kings. They objected to the presence of Ernie Liffiton, a Montreal Wanderer, who was slated to play for Renfrew. In that match and one that followed, both teams brought in first tier players from Montreal and Ottawa to bolster their chances for victory. Playing on the Wanderers that season put Ernie on a Stanley Cup team as Montreal won the cup in 1908.

The center photo is from a composite postcard of the Renfrew Creamery Kings in 1908. Ernie Liffiton, 5' 7" and 170 lbs., was a left wing and shot left. He played at a time when professional hockey was trying to evolve out of the amateur game, a time when new leagues formed and as quickly dissolved. His statistics show he frequently switched teams and leagues.

The photograph below-right is of the 1905-06 Pittsburgh Bankers. Ernie Liffiton, standing second from the left, played thirteen matches for the bankers.

In 1907-1908, the same season he was with the Wanderers, Ernie played four matches for Renfrew scoring four points. He also played one match for Brockville, scoring two goals before being ruled ineligible.

In 1909-10, he played four games in the Canadian Hockey Association, which then folded. His most prolific season was with the Halifax Crescents in 1911-12, when he played sixteen matches and scored seven goals.

Like his brothers Artie and Pete, Ernie coached hockey, but he is the only one whose coaching record is known at this time. In 1914-16, his team finished the regular season in first place but only won two out of five matches in the playoffs.