History of the Hartford Ski Club

The Hartford Ski Club (HSC) was founded in 1936 by skiing enthusiasts who wanted to foster interest in both the recreational and competitive aspects of the sport. There are currently about 300 members.

The mantle at Hartford Ski Club's Lodge

The HSC was founded on two basic principles:

  1. a low cost approach to skiing
  2. member involvement in club activities

These characterize the Club's informal, happy, low-key but well organized approach to skiing.

Founders

Formation of the Hartford Ski Club was a direct outgrowth of a "dry course" in skiing being conducted at the Broad Street YMCA during the Fall of 1936.

At the last session of the course, the suggestion was made that some of those attending might be interested in forming a ski club; accordingly, on December 29, 1936, the initial organization meeting was held with the following ten charter members:

A. B. Belcher Ellsworth Newberry
Harry Gold Payson Newton
Bunny Goodrich   Monty Pratt
West Griswold Rocky Ward
James Green Emerson White

Jim Green was elected to serve as provisional president until the first annual meeting to be held in the Spring of 1937, and the Constitution and By-laws were prepared. At the first director's meeting in January, 1937, it was voted that the newly formed Club join the United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association.

Talcott Mountain

In the Fall of 1937, the Club obtained the use of the slope on the west side of Avon (Talcott Mountain) and work was started on a trail. The original open-type shelter and fireplace were constructed in 1939. In 1941, the lower slope was equipped with floodlights for night skiing. In 1943, the lower ski tow was erected. In 1945, the enclosed shelter was built. In 1951, additional slopes and trails were cleared and the upper ski tows were completely rebuilt.

The abandonment of our Avon slope in 1959 was caused by the lack of snow and the inroads of golf. It was with nostalgic feelings for many to see the passing of this era in the history of the Hartford Ski Club.

The Mad River Glen Lodge

The Hartford Ski Club's Lodge at Mad River Glen

In 1955, after favorable experience in renting ski lodges for two previous seasons, the Club acquired land at the foot of the chairlift at Mad River Glen, Waitsfield, Vermont. The Club constructed a ski lodge, complete with all facilities, and designed to accommodate 36. This lodge has served as the principal focus of the Club.

The basement was finished in the 1960s. The lodge was substantially renovated and improved during the mid-1980s and the late 1990s.

Bird's Nest Lodge

In 1961, the Club accepted an offer to pay the taxes on an old farmhouse at Berkshire Snow Basin in return for its full-time use. The house, subsequently named "The Bird's Nest," was painted, cleaned, and partially furnished. It proved to be a popular lodge, particularly for our family members and weekend skiers. Its convenience and homey atmosphere helped to draw our members closer together and filled the spot left open when the Club's Avon ski slope was abandoned. Berkshire Snow Basin closed in 1985.

Magic Mountain

Although the Bird's Nest is no longer available, the Club continues to explore the development of a special relationship with a Southern New England ski area. To this end, the Club rented a 22 bed chalet at Magic Mountain for the 1990-91 season.

It was hoped that a significant success in this experiment would lead the Club to the permanent development of a Southern Vermont facility. Unfortunately, Magic Mountain ceased operating in 1992, which ended the experiment.

Magic Mountain reopened in 1998. Discounted lift tickets are available through the Connecticut Ski Council to Magic Mountain, and other Vermont ski resorts.

Past Presidents

Our thanks to these past presidents of the Hartford Ski Club, Inc. Life members are shown in italics.

1937-38   James Green
1938-39   Monty Pratt
1939-40   Ellsworth Newberry
1940-41   Herbert Trask
1941-42   Stephen Butterfield
1942-43   Emerson White
1943-45   Edwin Eaton
1945-46   Gilbert Wicke
1946-47   I. Laird Newell
1947-48   David Duffy
1948-49   Owen Broders
1949-50   Warren Porter
1950-51   Arthur Brown
1951-52   Girard Haviland
1952-53   George Hausmann
1953-54   David Allen
1954-55   Wilson M. Alford
1955-56   J. Murray Marshall
1956-57   Richard Morgan
1957-58   Edwin Eaton
1958-59   G. Webster Kenyon
1959   Donald MacDonald
1959-60   Richard Hicks
1960-61   John Seed
1961-62   William Comstock
1962-63   Gilbert Kleiner
1963-64   Richard Shaw
1964-65   Stephen Langford
1965-66   S. Edward Jeter
1966-67   James Shea
1967-68   David L. Prescott
1968-69   Thomas Desmond
1969-70   Frank Hicks
1970-71   Robert Tracy
1971-72   Joseph Lawsing
1972-73   Frank Douglas
1973-74   Russell Bowen
1974-75   Fred Greenwood
1975-76   Adolf Jochnick
1976-77   Harold Holcomb
1977-78   Walter Schwab
1978-79   Harold Greising
1979-80   William Bowman
1980-81   Elizabeth Stanley
1981-82   William Closs
1982-83   Edward Cole
1983-84   John Scheib
1984-85   Roy Seagren
1985-86   Mike Wasyl
1986-87   Sal Fanciullo
1987-88   Dan Thurston
1988-89   Myron Stacks
1989-90   Jacqueline Bell
1990-91   Ray Vine
1991-92   Rick Fortier
1992-93   Tom Webster
1993-94   Jim Freer
1994-95   Dan Redfield
1995-96   Rae LaMonica
1996-97   Bill Rappa
1997-98   Al Kennedy
1998-99   Doug Carabillo
1999-00   John Scheib Jr.
2000-01   Ken Lerman
2001-02   Pete Richard
2002-03   Carol Yingling
2004-05   Keith Marshall
2005-06   Jim Corrigan
2006-07   Rich Allen
2007-08   Steve Clarke
2008-09   Jack Marshall
2009-10   Jeff Doolittle
2010-11   John Burke
2011-12   Pat MacBeth
2012-13   John Zimmer
2013-14   Andrew J. Skarzynski
2014-15   Susan Dee
 

Famous Members

Famous HSC members include olympic champions and hall of famers. Jim Shea was the 2002 Olympic Skeleton Gold medal winner. Three-term HSC past-president Ed Eaton was elected in 1980 to the National Ski Hall of Fame.

Share Your Memories and Photos

HSC members! We need your help to supply photos and other details on the last 74 years or so of Hartford Ski Club history. If you know the answers to any of these questions, please contact us. Thank you!

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