Tour the Intriguing Ski Museum of Maine

December 3, 2007 by  
Filed under features

The Ski Museum of Maine is devoted to preserving the heritage and history of snow skiing as represented by the many artifacts and documents on display. Situated in Farmington, Maine, U.S.A., the museum held its first public exhibit in December 2006.

The collection at the Ski Museum of Maine includes close to three dozen pairs of skis that were manufactured in Maine and date back to the early 20th century. Viewing these various older models of skis helps current skiers to appreciate how advanced the popular sport of snow skiing has become. It also becomes apparent that ongoing advances in technology, as well as a better understanding of aerodynamics and other factors that influence speed and control, are proving to be hugely beneficial to skiers today. The same can be said of the numerous examples of early 20th century leather ski boots and accessories on display.

The Ski Museum of Maine came about as a result of a cleanout at the Sugarloaf Ski Club’s offices in 1995. The members of the club who were involved in this exercise realized that the documents relating back to the period of the 1950s through to the 1970s had enormous historical value with regard to the development of the sport of snow skiing in Maine. As they had no space in the office to store the documents and destroying them was out of the question, it was decided to create a museum as a permanent repository.

The museum started off with several thousand documents from the Sugarloaf Ski Club, many of which relate to the founding and formative years of Sugarloaf, which is currently Maine’s second busiest ski resort. Walter Melvin donated a valuable collection of newspaper clippings and records relating to the period from the 1930s through to the 1960s for a number of clubs and snow skiing areas in the Bangor region. The museum’s collection also includes memorabilia from ski areas which are no longer in operation, such as Big A in York and Enchanted Mountain.

In addition to the many fascinating exhibits, the roster of honorees of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame – prominent athletes, coaches, officials and others in the ski industry – is on display at the Ski Museum of Maine.

The Ski Museum of Maine places special emphasis on the history and heritage of snow skiing in the state of Maine, but there is little doubt that all snow skiing enthusiasts will enjoy the exhibits relating to their favorite sport, irrespective of where in the world they call home.