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
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.
###Current Board and Officers are:
Wende Gray, President
Gerry Thompson, Vice President
Peter Weston, Treasurer
Russ Murley, Secretary
Scott Andrews, Director and Consulting Curator
Michele Varuolo Cole
Don Fowler, Clerk
Theresa Shanahan, Executive Director
Find out more on our "Board of Directors" page.
Honorary Board Members:
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.