New England Ski Museum

December 30, 2010 by  
Filed under features

When visiting the Northeastern parts of the United States, and more specifically, Franconia in New Hampshire, be sure to visit the New England Ski Museum, where the history and the fascinating facts of cross-country skiing, alpine, commercial and various other skiing activities of the area are documented. There are only four ski museums in the United States. Even though the New England Ski Museum was established in 1977, it only moved to its present, and permanent, location in 1982. Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts will find the museum to be interesting and educational.

The museum is a non-profit organization that is supported by members of the skiing community with a passion for winter sports and the preservation of history. The museum also has a number of topic specific exhibitions not located at the museum, such as the satellite exhibit which is unmanned and located in North Conway. This exhibit details the historical ski trails, also referred to as the lost ski areas, which can be found across New England. It also shows how skiing became extremely popular from the 1930s onwards, and led to a boom in ski resorts, of which many are now abandoned. The Bretton Woods Exhibit: Nordic Skiing From the Stone Age to Skating is located at the Bretton Woods Base Lodge, and has a wonderful collection of photographs and exhibits for visitors to enjoy.

The permanent exhibition and collections at the New England Ski Museum consist of various ski related information, such as the timeline of skis, displaying numerous skis which started off as mere wooded slats and how they developed over the years. Fiberglass and metal skis are on display, as well as different shaped skis which were tested as the sport grew. Photographs, documents and ski related artifacts adorn the walls of the museum, as well as special items which are framed for safekeeping, such as parka belonging to C. Minot Dole, who was the founding member of the museum organization, and the GS Suit that was worn by Bode Miller. Miller made history in Franconia as a local skiing hero by winning the World Cup at the 1996 Junior Olympics. The New England Ski Museum is a wonderful trip down memory lane for skiers, as it brings the history of the sport to life and displays the heritage of skiing which is unknown to many.