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The Mountains of Maine: Skiing in the Pine Tree State
Collaborative exhibit opened June 24, 2016 and runs thru May 2018
BETHEL -- The Ski Museum of Maine is teaming up with two other organizations to present an exhibit illustrating a large swath of skiing history in this state.
The exhibit is titled “The Mountains of Maine: Skiing in the Pine Tree State,” and it has been open to the public for the past year at the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, New Hampshire. NESM has graciously loaned it to the Ski Museum of Maine, which will re-mount it in the Robinson House of the Bethel Historical Society.
NESM’s display comprises about 60 photographs taken from its own collections and borrowed from others. It covers most of Maine skiing history, from the arrival of the first Swedish immigrants in Aroostook County in the late 1800s, and the narrative continues into the modern era.
The principal focus of the photo collection is the development of commercial and non-profit ski areas both large and small. Many of these ski hills, particularly the smallest ones, disappeared decades ago, but others, such as Sunday River, Mount Abram, Black Mountain of Maine and Shawnee Peak, remain important to our state’s skiing lifestyle. The exhibit will be supplemented with artifacts and photos from the collections of the Ski Museum of Maine.
The exhibit is the latest of a series of collaborations between the Ski Museum of Maine and the Bethel Historical Society. The Ski Museum seeks to broaden its programming and support in the Bethel area, with the goal of adding a permanent branch within a few years.
The Bethel Historical Society is currently marking its 50th anniversary, and Executive Director Randall Bennett notes that because skiing is such an important part of the region’s social and economic landscape, it’s very fitting that this exhibit will be on view in Bethel for 2016-2017.
The exhibit will open on June 24 and remain on display through the spring of 2017. Hours will be Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. during July and August. The Society’s museums are closed November 1 through Thanksgiving. Call 800-824-2910 or visit bethelhistorical.org for more information.
The picture above is of Rangeley Town Manager Oscar Riddle, who was meeting with trail designer Sel Hannah in April 1958 to look over the feasibility of laying out ski trails on Saddleback Mountain. Saddleback ski area opened for the Winter of 1960-61.
This picture is part of a year long exhibit at the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, NH, called "The Mountains of Maine: Skiing in the Pine Tree State."