Vermont Ski Museum: Collect, Preserve, Celebrate
True to its motto to “Collect, Preserve, and Celebrate”, the Vermont Ski Museum is a fascinating treasure trove of memorabilia relating to the history of skiing in Vermont. Located in the Village of Stowe’s old Town Hall, which was built in 1818 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Vermont Ski Museum started its collection in 2002. Thanks to generous donations from the skiing community, the collection has grown to more than 5,200 catalogued items, many of which date back to the late 19th century.
The museum’s impressive collection is divided into seven main categories:
- Ski Equipment
- Ski Clothing
- Mechanical Equipment
- Vermont Ski Area/Ski Vermont Items
- 10th Mountain Division
- Fine Art
- Library and Archival Materials
The category with the largest collection is Ski Equipment, while Mechanical Equipment is the smallest in number, but displays products that have had an enormous impact on the sport of snow skiing over the years. Included in this collection is snow-making equipment, ski-lifts, communication equipment and innovative race timing devices, such as the first electronic eye that made use of motion to start and stop timing.
In recognition of the essential role they played in the history of Vermont skiing, in November 2003 the museum inducted more than 250 members of the 10th Mountain Division into the Vermont Ski Museum Hall of Fame. The collection in this category includes WWII rations, medals, climbing equipment and more. The Vermont Ski Museum Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made their mark in the history of skiing. Candidates are considered within three categories – Pioneers, Athletes and Special Contributors – and are chosen by a Committee elected by the Board of Directors.
At one time or another, there have been more than 130 ski areas in Vermont, about 110 of which have been closed, but not forgotten, as the museum has been working on documenting these areas and the role they played in the history of skiing in this area. The Library and Archives category represents a large portion of the museum’s inventory, with more than 550 books, 75 postcards, 350 magazines, 50 instructional booklets, and 200 pamphlets that are related to ski areas in Vermont. Additionally the archives have interesting film footage and original photography.
Exhibits change from time to time to keep things fresh and interesting, so be sure to drop by and see what’s new at the Vermont Ski Museum whenever you hit the slopes in this popular winter sport area.