Fletcher Brown started skiing in the early thirties at Deerfield Academy leading to his joining the ski team at Williams College which he captained in his senior year. Following graduation in 1938 he spent the next three years at Cannon Mountain, starting out as a ski instructor at Peckett’s on Sugar Hill. He moved to the ski school at Cannon Mountain from 1939 to 1941 where he served as co-director along with Peter Gabriel.
Brown’s skiing was interrupted by World War II when he joined the navy and following aviation cadet training, served a a PBY pilot 1941-1945. Those years in the Pacific where his only no skiing years from 1933 to the present and he still skis in his 91st year.
Returning to Cannon after the war, he served on the ski patrol. When Roland Peabody was absent, often weeks at a time, Fletcher assumed his duties as overall director of the ski area.
In 1946 he returned to Maine to join his father’s automobile agency, where he completed his working career, assuming the Presidency of the dealership onhis father’s retirement. Back in Maine he quickly became involved in skiing, working with Robert Bass to form the Maine Ski Club Association, forerunner to the Maine Ski Council. He represented Maine with the Eastern ski Association. The next year, 1947, through his association activities and skiing inTuckerman Ravine Brown became acquainted with Amos Winter which led to his involvement with efforts to build a ski area on the north side of Bigelow Mountain. That dream ended with the construction of Long Falls Dam on the Dead River, which created Flagstaff Lake and cut off their access to the mountain. Looking cross the Valley Winter and his Bigelow Boys gazed at the snowfields atop Sugarloaf and found a new location for their dream.
Shortly after Brown was part of an Association meeting in Hallowell attended by representatives throughout the state, where it was decided to pursue a major new ski area at Sugarloaf.
The next step came when Brown, Amos Winter, Robert Bass and two others went to the corporate headquarters of Scott Paper near Philadelphia. These negotiations led eventually to the purchase of bulk of the land on Sugarloaf’s north side, 1,760 acres for $15,000. It helped that Scott’s attorney was an acquaintance of Brown’s. In an interesting side note, Scott Paper noted that the value of timber on the mountain was estimated at $25,000 and if the ski area made enough money they could pay for it, and that was paid off in three years.
Fletcher Brown was one of the skiers who helped Amos Winter cut Winter’s Way and the access road to the foot of the mountain. Taking advantage of his Cannon Mountain contacts he took the lead in hiring Sel Hannah to design Narrow Gauge and Sluice. When the Sugarloaf mountain Crop was formed to succeed the Sugarloaf Ski Club, Brown was an initial director, serving for many yhears and as Vice President under Robert Bass.
His life long devotion to the sport of skiing and his work in building Maine Skiing through the early years at Sugarloaf have earned Fletcher Brown a place in the Maine ski Hall of Fame.