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A Brief History of the Ski Museum of Maine

By Scott Andrews

The Ski Museum of Maine was founded in 1995 by a small circle of friends who were members of the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club. During its first decade, this group formed a nonprofit [501 (c)(3)] corporation and obtained a grant to store and accession an initial collection of documents and artifacts. New members joined during these first 10 years, and the nascent Museum published a newsletter.

The Maine Ski Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 2003 as a semi-independent program. More than 100 men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the sport and business of skiing and snowboarding in Maine have been inducted. The Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony, held in October, is the Ski Museum’s top social event and a major fund-raiser.

In 2006 the Museum opened a physical exhibit in Farmington, and hired a part-time curator to oversee the facility and direct the Museum’s operations. Duties included accessioning new and existing collections and publishing the newsletter. The Museum moved to its present location in downtown Kingfield in 2009.

The Fireside Chats, the Museum’s primary education and outreach program, began in 2008. The program comprises a series of eight personally narrated digital slideshows that cover the entire span of Maine skiing, from its beginnings in 1870 to the present day. More than 200 Fireside Chats have been presented in communities from Kittery to Madawaska.

Other annual events began more recently. One is the Maine Ski Heritage Classic, held at Sugarloaf each February; this is the Museum’s most important fund-raising event. The newest annual happenings are the Ski Season Launch Party, held each fall in Greater Portland, the Vintage Ski Fashion Snow in Bethel, Skee Spree at Sunday River and a June golf tournament in Cumberland. The Museum plans to create similar events throughout the state.

In 2010 the Museum restructured its professional staff, which now comprises a full-time executive director plus a part-time research director and curator. In 2011 the Museum established the Peter C. Friend Endowment, a milestone in its drive toward long-term financial stability.

The Ski Museum of Maine maintains permanent exhibit space in downtown Kingfield. The Museum is located in the second floor of the Sugarloaf Outlet Ski Shop. Sugarloaf generously allows the Museum to use this space rent-free. Admission is free, and Museum hours are the same as the ski shop, generally 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter and summer.

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Current Board and Officers are:
Wende Gray, President
Gerry Thompson, Vice President
Peter Weston, Treasurer
Russ Murley, Secretary
Scott Andrews, Director and Consulting Curator
Leigh Breidenbach
Drew Cota
Bob Farrar
Laurie Fitch
Cooper Friend
Cate Gilbane
Scott Hendricks
Dave Irons
Glenn Parkinson
Dave Ridley
Phil Savignano
Dave Stonebraker
Don Fowler, Clerk
Theresa Shanahan, Executive Director

Find out more on our "Board of Directors" page.

Honorary Board Members:
Don Hayes
Don Fletcher
Jean Luce
Greg Foster

You can show your support of the Museum by becoming a member, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to preserve the history of the sport we all know and love.