Maine is very rich in ski history, yet many people do not realize it nor recognize the place this history holds within the American ski world. Because of this, many of those who have valued the special spirit our sport entails are concerned this history will be lost. It is this concern which motivated the founders of the Ski Museum of Maine to organize.
The Ski Museum's mission is to “celebrate and preserve the history and heritage of Maine skiing". The board of directors has undertaken a number of projects to identify and preserve our skiing heritage and to share this heritage with all generations.
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. In 2011 the Museum established the Peter C. Friend Endowment, a milestone in its drive toward long-term financial stability.
In 2006 the Museum opened a physical exhibit in Farmington and hired an Executive Director to oversee the facility and direct the Museum's operations. In 2009 the Museum moved to it's current location in downtown Kingfield, above the Sugarloaf Outlet store.
The focus of the Museum is centered on educating everyone about our significant Maine ski history. Within the Museum you can learn about Paris Manufacturing, and watch the video "From Tree to Ski" which explains how skis were manufactured in the 1930's.Our "Bass" Boot display is included in the Paris exhibit. New to the museum is a "childrens" corner with examples of early ski figurines, skis, sleds, toys and such to bring back early memories of skiing. A replica of a "King & Dexter" ski shop which includes tools that were used in the shop, skis, boots, metal edges and many other items you would find within the ski shop. There is a display of Theo Johnson artifacts which include a kit of replica skis he used selling products through his company, "Tajco" out of Portland Maine in the early1900's. A display of the 10th Mountain Division memorabilia from the second World War stands in one corner. On the north wall, you will find information about the "Lost" ski areas and Open ski areas, a map with identification of both types of areas with information on Saddleback, Sugarloaf, Shawnee Peak and Mt. Agamenticus, and many more interesting ads and memorabilia from Maine's resorts. On the west wall you will see some wonderful examples of "Classic" skis. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
The Bethel Historical Society is hosting the exhibit "The Mountains of Maine: Skiing in the Pine Tree State" created by the New England Ski Museum in Franconia. The Ski Museum of Maine purchased the exhibit in 2017 in memory of a pillar of Maine's ski industry, John Christie. The exhibit illustrates a large swath of skiing history in this state. The exhibit will be on display at the Bethel Historical society through March of 2018 Tuesday-Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturdays in July and August from 1 - 4 pm.
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.
Other annual events began more recently. Our Maine Ski Heritage Classic, held at Sugarloaf each February; this is the Museum's most important fund-raising event. The newest is the annual Skee Spree silent auction at Sunday River in April.
Admission to the Ski Museum of Maine is Free! Museum hours are 9 am to 5 pm when the Outlet is open, 7 days a week. Spring hours are Monday - Friday 10 - 4 pm, or by appointment. We welcome private tours with advance notice. Please contact the Museum for more information.
We hope that you will renew or become a new member and help us to continue our mission to "Celebrate and Preserve the heritage and history of Maine Skiing". Your support will allow us to continue to maintain and expand our collection, improve our Kingfield exhibits, and the Bethel Historical satellite exhibit, honor women's role in the history of the ski industry at our Sisters of Skade presentations and we encourage school groups to visit our unique facility for field trips. Afterall, skiing in Maine is part of the history of Maine.
The Ski Museum has undergone a major renovation as a result of the grant received from the H.King & Jean Cummings Charitable Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. We are thankful to Warren Cook for his support in this time of renovation, and all the board members and staff hired for this work.
If you haven't visited the museum in a while - we are certain you will be thrilled to see the changes! The Ski Museum is open 7 days a week, when the Sports Outlet is open. Private showings can be made with advance notice. Please enter through the outlet, and as usual admittance is free!