Today in Lyme and Dartmouth College History The Dartmouth Skiway was Officially Dedicated
As one who grew up here, in a family of six kids, the two places that I spent a large amount of "time" were Storrs Pond and The Dartmouth Skiway. Every Wednesday afternoon, after we graduated from the golf course and the mitten snagging, winter coat shredding rope tow, and the J-Bar at Oak Hill, kids in the Ford Sayre Ski Program got to go to the Skiway!
We would also go every Saturday, regardless of how cold it was, we would be at the Skiway. Dropped off out front in the morning and picked up, no later then 4:15 in the afternoon.
On December 15, 1956, Polly Case straddled a small disc attached to a cable – a "poma lift" – and rode to the top of Holt's Ledge in Lyme Center, becoming the first patron of the College's then-brand-new ski area. Case was awarded the honor of the first ride up the mountain for suggesting the name of the ski area: the Dartmouth Skiway.
The Brundage Lodge at Dartmouth Skiway, designed by Hanover Achitect W. Brooke Fleck. The lodge was dedicated in memory of Robert Peter Brundage '45, LT USMCR, Company L, Third Battalion, 1st Marine Div, was Killed in action Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands. Lt Brundage was awarded the Silver Star for Conspicuous Gallantry and intrepidity.
Howard Chivers '39 The Skiway manager with Tucker Sno-Cat
Holts Ledge and the Grafton Turnpike prior to development of the Holt's Ledge Ski Area
Original area concept and trail layout, presented to the Town of Lyme and Leadership of Dartmouth College.
Original Trail Map
Valley News Clipping January 14, 1957
The Poma lift was an intimidating experience. You would scoot up in line, stand next to the rescue toboggan placed just to torment young skiers minds, try not to cry from fear, pray you did not fall in front of friends and then hold on. Henry Marsh, Mason or Ron Balch would hand you the Poma stick or pole that you straddled with a little plate that rested on your butt and pulled you up the hill. I remember many times the lift stopping for who knows what reason, always at the steepest part of the hill. You could feel yourself sliding back, panic starts to set in! I can remember skiing up and over others who had fallen off the lift in front of me.
I wonder the thoughts or emotions experienced, by visiting ski racers arriving for a carnival race at the Skiway for the first time when they look out from the lodge or while on the race course, they crest the Skiway Face and see that Dartmouth doesn’t have an ambulance waiting at the bottom of the hill. ZOOM IN ...to the right of the crowd of people. They have a hearse!! The Hanover Fire Department did not have an ambulance for another decade.
Of all the opportunities, cultural and otherwise, that Dartmouth has provided the community, The Skiway is by far the most special to me.
The museum that used to be in Wilson Hall with the shrunken head in the basement....yeeeschk
The performances at the Hopkins Center, very important, very cultural, very educational. The Skiway was freedom, adventure and fun. The Skiway staff and other families created a space that allowed one to go through the day without a care about safety or anything else, other then the odd tree or the Poma lift and Mrs. Nichols homemade donuts.
The Skiway has constantly improved to meet the changes in the sport and the challenges of the weather. The dartmouth Ski Teams have a facility in close proximity to the campus for training. Dartmouth undergraduates, countless elementary students have leanred to ski here. High school ski programs and community events are held at the Skiway.
The vision, decision and commitment to locate, construct and operate a ski area in Lyme Center by those few individuals who led the effort, has created a lasting positive impact on Dartmouth and our communities.
All photo credited to Dartmouth College's Rauner Library, The coolest most special resource.