75th Anniversary Of First Ski Tow

In March of 2009, The Vermont Standard created a supplement to commemorate 75th anniversary of first ski tow in the United States. The Introduction to the supplement can be found below. Full downloads of both sections are also available by clicking on the links below.

75th Anniversary Of The First Ski Tow
Section A, Section B.

A Ski History Part 1
Woodstock’s Role As A Winter Destination Started Long Before First Ski Tow
Winter plays an important role in the economy of the region. The natural beauty of the setting coupled with the charm and stateliness of the historic village provides Woodstock with an unsurpassed attraction for those experiencing winter.

A Ski History Part 2
Prior to January of 1934, skiing in Vermont was not an undertaking for the quadricep-challenged. In order to get up the hills, one would have to walk, whether in boots alone or on skis with sealskins attached. The skis of that day were more like the telemark skis of today, with the boot clipped in only by the toe, allowing the heel to roam free for easier uphill walking.

A Ski History Part 3
The next hill to succumb to Bunny’s entrepreneurial energy would be Suicide Six. He would have his eye on the hill for a few years before he could buy it, due to some difficulties in clearing the title for sale, but in 1937, the hill was his.

A Ski History Part 4
By late 1950s and early 1960s, the ski industry was in a rapid ascent throughout the country, with new ski areas opening every year. Many of the older, smaller ski centers which had been around since the earliest days, found themselves increasingly one-upped by larger areas with more lifts, longer trails and more snow-making capability.

Far Beyond Our Own Sunny Slopes!
Woodstock’s great ski heritage reflects ramifications that shimmer far beyond the sunny slopes surrounding the shire town.

In this snowy cradle of winter recreation, the following “firsts” have been noted:

  • The oldest racing club-the Ski Runners-in the United States
  • The first ski lift in the U.S.
  • The first ski bobs, manufactured right here in Woodstock, in the U.S.
  • The country’s first night skiing, at Gilbert’s Hill north of Woodstock Village in 1935.
  • America’s first ski reports (postcards from the White Cupboard!)
  • Vermont’s first female Olympic team members – Ursula and Margretta Fisk.
  • First US National Snowboard Championship at Suicide Six.

You can read more about these important developments inside this special issue. But it’s easy to see how early trends and tones of the ski industry were set right in our back yard.

This has been a long, complicated endeavor and wouldn’t have become reality with the patience, diligence, humor and hard work of the following people: Jack Anderson, Gary Avigne and the Woodstock Resort Corp., Paul Bousquet, Paul Graves, Sherm Howe, Jonathan Robinson and Heidi White.

We are proud to play a role in chronicling this important history on the 75th anniversary of the first ski tow in the United. States. We hope this special supplement will find a place in many peoples’ historic collections.

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