MILSAP Updates, July 9, 2019

Welcome to MILSAP! We are dedicated to collecting and publishing information about the history of lift-served ski areas in Michigan.  If you have fond memories of flying down the slopes on your favorite hill, but the area has closed, let us know about it. Michigan has a long, rich history of skiing and sliding and it should not be forgotten. Please help us keep it alive by sharing your recollections, snapshots, memorabilia, news clippings, home movies, or whatever you may have that would remind you and others of the places where people used to enjoy winter in Michigan.
For more information about our site, check the About MILSAP link on the navigation bar above or at the top of our page links in the right-hand column.


It’s been way too long since I posted a summary of your comments back at Halloween and here it is past the 4th already. All I can say is I was busy skiing during ski season which lasted a long time, and I have had some family health problems to attend to this spring. That hasn’t stopped our followers, we have had 107 posts in the past 8 months!

James replied to Keith on the Tyrollean Hills page that he remembers the cool, new Poma and hitting golf balls into the lake in the summer. Agnarchy posted a short history of Mt. Mancelona. Bob Sisco posted that he finally skied Otsego on 2/19/19. He thought it was not real challenging, but it was fun and had character. He liked seeing the lifts from the short-lived Miner Denver Company, but lift 4 was not running. The lattice tower and lift pole at the entrance says it is a M-D but it is really a Telecar and was installed about the same time as nub’s  first chair in ’59. Gene Pomalgalski (Mr. Poma) was on hand for the christening. Otsego was the area that started skiing in Gaylord. However, says the telecars were installed in ’65 and ’66.

Frank Presti, Jr. replied to Gary Chomiak on the Snow Valley page that he remembers working summers at the resort. Robert Mogford replied to Gennie Morgan on the Griswold Mtn. page that the guy who now owns the property is the founder of the Monster Energy drink company. He has been trying for years to put in a motocross and dirt bike track. Marc Cassidy replied to Rick on the Sheridan Valley page that the best memories of his life are those weekends at SV. The kid Rick is trying to remember is Tommy Takash. He tells Rick to look him up on LinkedIn.

Dave Martin says his grandparents, Hans and Ida Boehme managed the Greenbush Inn from from its earliest days. He remembers swimming in the pool every summer. His mother, Shirley Martin, succeeded her father as Greenbush’s Postmaster. Themastercylinder posted that he found an article in the Alcona County Review, 7/25/68, about the centennial of Greenbush that had a history of the Greenbush Inn and a picture of the “Carlsburg” toboggan slide. He also said he worked one summer with Sy Goebel putting in a trampoline where the pool had been. He said there was also a mini golf course. Ken Goebel replied to themastercylinder that he spent a lot of time in that pool in the ’60s. His father’s cousin, Si (Seaborn) Goebel bought the land after the inn burned and turned it into an amusement venue. He passed in ’93.

Keith C Lay complained about MILSAP on the Sylvan Knob page that he doesn’t like cookies. Sorry, Keith, they’re put there by our host, WordPress. Bill Courtright replied to Mys Schaefer on the Firsts page that he helped build the chairlift towers at LCS and started and instructed for the Michigan Association of Blink Skiers. He is looking for Roy to confirm that this was the world’s first association for blind skiers.

Roxanna Stewart says she remembers Ward Hills and Camp Martin Johnson, she skied and worked there from ’52 until it closed. She cleaned tables, taught skiing and patrolled. She says she’s trying to post a ’77 picture of her and her friend, Judith, from the top of Hill 4. Dave Norris replied to Stephen that he would live to see some pictures of Ward Hills. He publishes Big Bass Lake and Beyond. Stephen Reese says he lived in one of the cabins at Ward Hills until he was 4. His grandparents owned 300 acres including the ski area. Grandpa (Paul Howard Reese) installed the tows. He opened it in the mid-’50s and sold it in ’70 for $40,000. He believes his great grandfather, George Painter, owned the land before grandpa Reese.

Scott says he skied the first time at Mt. Maria in ’72 with his scout troop. He is now a 9-year ski instructor at jay Peak, VT. Joan replied to Lori about Mt. Maria that she went to Hicks Elementary–such fun memories. Scott M says he was stationed at Wurtsmith in the early ’90s and learned to ski at Mt. Maria. He met some great people there.

Galen Walter commented about Big M that the Prices would build wooden ramps at lower Vista to ski jump for the 4:30 schuss. His mom and dad had the ski shop from ’56-’72. The patrol room was at the other end of the lodge and he would nap on the cots. The ropes were so fast that they put blue rosin rocks at the bottoms to help you grip. He’s still riding ropes at Hansen Hills. And to (Bill Jennings) he still has the Spaulding Siderals. tom replied to Guy that he has great memories of Big M. He remembers the runs (but not their names), throwing real logs on the fire upstairs and the wax machine outside. Greg Heinzelman says his family often skied Big M in the ’60s. They stayed in a friend’s cabin in Wellston or a pickup camper in the parking lot. He also remembers the cool ski jackets of the ski patrol when he was hauled into the lodge on a toboggan after he caught a root on a shortcut between Vista and Oh Me. William! says the Manistee brochure matched well with Google Maps.

Patti Baillet commented that her parents, Al and Flo bought into Fonro around ’70. The pet deer was “Butter Nose.” She loved snowmobiling on the airstrip. Tris replied to Patti that she has great memories of being on the patrol at Fonro in the ’60s. Jackie Schreur says her husband Jim and Bob Fosdick were ski instructors  there when Jerry Fairbanks was the owner. posted that he has many good memories of skiing at Brady’s Hills from ’74 until it closed. Denise says she used to go to Brady’s with her dad when he went deer hunting. She skied there when it was Brady’s and also Winterskol. Fred Quick commented that hiws grandma was a cook at Brady’s. They lived 1/4 mile away. Hie and his cousin would play in the snow and listen to the music from the ski area. He learned to ski there before it closed. Fred Stephen Wark is wondering what is going on at Mt. Mancelona, he was there and wondered it it was open. He should check them out on Facebook to keep up on their events. Mikey from Mount Mancelona replied to Fred that they are open to hiking with permission.

Bill Behse commented on the Thunder Mountain page that in the late ’50s, Stein Eriksen did a couple of flips off the dip in front of the lodge. He says he has 8mm of it, but can’t locate it. Susie Miller says her family also weekended at Thunder. She remembers in 1960 at age 6 she skied the 1st time down the big dip. She also remembers getting her braids tangled in the rope. greymouser70 replied to Bill Behse that the Thunder weasel was still olive drab in ’59 (he was 11 then). Gilbert K Arnold remembers Bill lived in Charlevoix and his parents had a Nash Metropolitan convertible. He says the Thunder Mtn. weasel was nicknamed the “Dirty Bird.” Dan replied to Kirk on the Thunder Mtn. page that he remembers the pool party he had for the ski patrol. Frank Bodenmiller threw your cat in the pool. He says he has hundreds of pictures from Thunder. He wants to know if Kirk’s pass is good at A Basin to ski with him. Kirk said that his dad, Blaine Johnson, was on the patrol and he learned to ski at Thunder. He is now an adaptive ski instructor at Winter Park.

Susan posted about Circle TNT that the Black River was the water source for their snowmaking. She also posted that TNT stood for Tom and Toots, the main owners. She says she was a part owner in the ’70s. The main hill ended at the Black River. Marilyn Turner from Channel 7 used to call for snow reports. The area hosed motorcycle races in the summer. Sadly, the sun shone brightly on the slopes and often melted the snow they made.

john phillips posted on the Lansing Ski Club page in reply to Steve that he was on the ELHS ski team in ’69 (first year). He remembers the jumps in the woods where the lights didn’t reach. He moved to Aspen in ’70 and opened a pizza place with his experience at Domino’s. John says he skied LCS in the ’50s when a season pass cost $10. Win Stebbins replied to John that LCS ran from ’48 until “84 or ’86. His dad, Rollie Stebbins, bought the  Renz farm property in ’48 with about 20 other area skiers. They developed lots on Dawn Ave and sold them to pay Rollie off. originally, they used their cars to warm up in, until Claude Chamberlain designed and built the 1-room warming hut. MNB foreclosed in ’84-’86 and the property is now The Greens at Walnut Hills. Pete B remembers LSC well, he learned to ski there. Steve Rosewarne also remembers growing up at LCS. Mark d replied to Dave Tschirhart that he thinks they went to ELHS together. Mya Schaefer commented that her dad, Roy, built the hills at LCS with a yellow bulldozer. They left LCS in ’76/’77 for western Massachusetts where they took over Berkshire East ski area. They still own and operate it along with Catamount. Chad replied to Mike asking if he knew his dad, Dave McCuen at LCS.

Kevin Alman says he learned to ski at Mt. Grampian in ’75-’76 with Kingsbury school, every Friday (the school now skis at Mt. Holly). He has great memories, but stopped skiing in ’90. He started again in’14 skiing at Brighton (they live in Howell) but would like to meet up with other Kingsbury alumni for a beer. Scott Guthrie remembers skiing at Grampian in the ’60s. His dad jumped there. Geoff Smith thanked Cathy Gosenca on the Mt. Holly page for reminding him that Mort Graddis started Mt. Holly. Bill Van Cleve has great memories of ’84-’89 with his daughter learning to ski at Kandahar from the age of 3 1/2,

Ted Reilly replied to Dean of the Riverview Highlands page  with a Youtube link to news and a 20/20 story about the landfill/ski hill. Rodney Grover says his family all called Mott Mountain home. His grandparents built a cobin on Lake 13 and bought season passes for the family from 78-82. He says they still ski as a family. Marko Reich replied to Karl that he thinks he skied with him at Mott and graduated with him from Farwell. He says he got his first case of frostbite at Mott. Jeff Novak commented that Bald Eagle was definitely closed by ’72. he remembers sledding and riding motorcycles there, also the old rope towers and the old ski building, like a hanger.

brian wants to know the name of the small ski hill just west of Marquette on 41. He remembers only a rope or T-bar. I think he is referring to Al Quaal, how about you? j. collingham remarked on the patched and Pins page that he has heard Mt. Bohemia has stopped issuing patches to control their brand. Anybody got one? Geoff Smith remembered Greg Schwartz and other great Michigan ski racers on the Iroquois Mountain page. Jon Carlisle replied to Geoff that he agrees Greg was a fine skier and racer; smooth, fast, and controlled. Norm Abbott posted on the Iroquois Mtn. page that he attended MTU, Sault Branch and raced at Iroquois Mike Butt from Sault, ON in ’60. AT commented on that he learned to ski at Munising’s Maple Mountain, a very tough hill. He remembers the “rohax” with a wooden ramp where the older kids would do back flips. These days you wouldn’t know the area was there.

Philip LaCombe asked if Kirlin Hill was where Marquette Mtn. is now. We replied that the best information puts Kirlin Hill at Mt. Mesnard based on the 1951 Master Plan for the city of Marquette. Philip replied that he has a program from the 2nd annual ski jumping tournament at Kirlin Hill with a list of jumpers and sponsors. We would like to see it and also know the date.

Karl DeBaker commented that he used to ski Mott Mountain ’75-’78. RWL11 says he used to race BMX at Mt. Grampian in 1980. Rex Phillips replied to Jeff to thank him for the information on the lodge at Bald Eagle. He said his family owned Herring Bone Ridge in the ’60s and he still has a bobsled with steerable skis up front and a break bar underneath. He’ll sell, contact him for pictures.

Mark Kimmerly is still looking for pictures of Silverbell Village. Bob Fischer sent a link to a vintage aerial photo of Silverbell. Bill Monroe left a post on the Kandahar page with directions on how to find the old ski trails and a rope tow pole in Pontiac Lake Park.

James Teeple asked a question about the name Teeple Hill. P Sienkiewicz replies that county historical society records show Edsel Ford purchased the land from Jacob Steeple. Over the years, maps showed J. Steeple, then Steeple Lake, and finally Teeple Lake. Back in January, he reported that there was a lot of snow today! He also invited people to the annual Rosebud Reveal celebration at Haven Hill (Teeple Hill) in the Highland Recreation Area, sorry it was in mid-May. Joann McCracken commented that in the late ’40s, her dad would take her and her friends to Teeple Hill for horseback riding. Mark Alken says Teeple was the first place he ever skied (’72). 47 years later he is still skiing 50-100 days a year. He remembers the quonset hut, the ropes, the sack lunches, and thermoses of hot chocolate.

Eric J. Peterson replied to David that Eric’s dad was on the ski patrol at Royal Valley. He learned to ski there and has great memories of the great lodge. Dave Siekman replied to Eric Peterson on the Royal Valley page that he has memories of Pierre instructing there. he replied to Kitty that he would love to see some of the group once again. Ethan says the slope names at Royal Valley (according to his family) were: Bunny Hill, Jester’s Bowl, Wedeler, Quicksilver, Timberline Trail, Challenger, and King’s Dive. his favorite Xmas present ever was a pair of skis to use at Royal Valley. His mother worked there and taught the kids to ski. He remembers the owners’ St. Bernard stealing sandwiches.

Rick Popiolek posted on the Briar Hill page that he has a 16mm converted to video of the Toledo Ski Club jumping at Briar Hill, skiing at Nub’s, Crystal, in New York, canoe trip on the Ausable, and of the TSC lodge at Boyne burning. Robert W. Rulison says he was a kid (12?) when the tow rope went in at Bahle Park. The local kids used it to ski is the weather was too bad (to go to Sugar Loaf?) but if there weren’t a lot of people, they used it for sledding. He says he learned to ski at Sugar Loaf at age 6 in ’71. He skied there until ’84 when they moved away. It stayed open 15 more years. Cindy Watkins commented on our Birch Hills page that you can see the remains of the trails coming northbound on old 131 at the top of the hill coming into Paris. She says to look northeast at 1-2 o’clock.

Jesse Ruiz commented that they just bought a home at Tyrollean Hills. David Tubbs replied to Jesse that the lake is Lake 19. He says he has some pictures from the ’70s and will forward them. Susan Genovesi replied to David that she thinks Jesse’s family bought Jack Nelson’s place. Keith Pollock replied to David that he is the son of the owners from ’68 to ’74 and it is a shame that it has deteriorated.

Gustave Walter Rayl commented on the Snow Bowl page that he has fond memories of grade school friends on ski nights skiing the Barney Lake run and the two long ropes back up. Michelle replied to Tammi Day (Hengy) that she would like to see photos of Snow Bowl. Michael says he would like to see the photos, too.

Chris commented on the Kalamazoo Ski Club that he played in the woods with the kids who lived there after it closed. Nobody he knows remembers it in operation. Amanda Miller asked if the the abandoned lodge off Ave. du Chalet is Mont Gabriel? We replied that we think so.

Whew, that took way too long (6 weeks to write up these comments). I’ll have to be more timely in the future.  I still have to look through the comments to add those that have arrived in the past month while I’ve been writing this. Then I’ll have to write another to summarize the comments made on our Facebook page and received by email. We hope you have been enjoying our site and want you to keep those stories, reminiscences, and messages coming to our blog and our Facebook page. If you have any pictures or documents to send us please do so via

Robert Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project



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MILSAP Updates, October 30, 2018

Well, Halloween is tomorrow and my last comment summary was in May. Ski season is almost upon us and I guess I was having too much fun this summer to keep up with things. There have been 36 comments left on MILSAP since May 12, not to mention information, pictures and items that have been emailed to us.

From the pre-season issue of “Skiing Magazine” for the 1968-69 season, new areas in Michigan were Timberline near Mio, Russell’s Ridge at Hart, Newago County Winter Sports Park, And Lost Pines near Cadillac. Ski hills that ceased operation were Barn Mountain, Glacier Hills, Houghton Lake Snow Bowl, Moon Ridge, Fry’s Winter Sports Park, Mt. Christie, and Snow Valley (it was announced as temporary due to the lodge fire, but it became permanent). In other news it was announced that USSA Class A racers would compete against locals at Boyne Mountain and Mt. Holly. Skibobs were available for rent at Indianhead, Mt. Frederick, and Hulu Hills. Irish Hills uncovered a LARGE stone while installing a new chairlift. They left it in place on the hill, named it the Blarney Stone and started a “Don’t Kiss the Blarney Stone” promotion.

In 1964-65, Timberlee announced their opening with 338′ of vertical. That same year, Sugar Loaf built their lodge.

Ben Stevens left us a complement on our other LSAPS page that he grew up in Montana where his uncle operated a local ski area and enjoys hearing about old mom and pop ski areas. He now lives in Leelanau County and has started skiing at abandoned areas. We hope you respect the no trespassing signs, Ben. Terry Edwards informed us on the Milsap Updates page that the ski jump at 9 Mi Rd. was built by Henry Hall who held the world record until the ’60s. He thinks he maintained the jump by shoveling a nearby skating rink and trucking the snow to the jump. He said Henry was in his ’70’s then. Don is asking for a Canadian Lakes/Castle mountain page.

Hilary Gardner left a comment on Silverbell Village that her father, Thomas Gardner, was the developer/owner. She said she has some photos and will attempt to find them. She said now that her dad is gone, it’s nice to read about the wonderful memories people have about their times at Silverbell. She says it might have survived with snowmaking.  She mentions that her dad went on to develop the Silverdome for the Lions. He called it the SILVERdome after SILVERbell. Mark Kimmerly responded to her that he would really like to see those pictures. So would we, Hilary!

Paul Tyson replied to Geoff on the Mt. Holly page that Spyder Sabich raced as a pro at Mt. holly in ’75 or ’76. He was shot to death by his girlfriend, Claudine Longet, in ’76. In the future, we’ll have some news about expansion plans at Mt. Holly. Meagan Borowy replied to T Yearago on the Mt. Grampian page asking if he got info about tickets, etc. Steve Davis said that his grandfather, Tom Davis, was a part owner of Mt. Christie and, with his brother and sister, helped run the lodge. Paul replied to Steve Davis on the Mt. Christie page asking if he has any pictures.

Shawnee Marie Bigelow commented about Mt. Maria that she lives on the south shore (of Hubbard Lake) and grew up skiing there. The trail names on the front were Mt. Maria, Chute, Baker, and Bunny. Her mom worked in the ski shop and Shawnee remembers the burgers, fries, and cocoa in the lodge. The kids rode snowmobiles to the area on snow days and had the best times ever!

Jay Mowl remembers raising hell at Mott Mountain from 1980 until Earl sold out. He met some of his best friends there. Ty Patterson commented about Mott that he grew up there. Now, at 43, he lives in Colorado but he still feels 8 years old every time he gets on a lift. Vern Hayden2 commented on Ogema Hills that he skied there from ’50-’54 on old 7′ wooden skis with no edges. He remembers 2 runs: beginner and steep (straight down) with rope tows. He became a good racer and later raced on the best equipment for the Air Force.

Dave Norris says he sent Jason an email about getting pictures of Ward Hills. Anton Mal posted a link to the Caberfae expansion plans. Ed Rogers commented on the Bear Hills page that he was the ski instructor and ski patrolman there in ’65-’66.

Jane Richards says she would like to get some old pictures of Irish Hills for the new owners. We’d like to see them, too, Jane. erbsuperb replied to Bill on the Diggins Hill page that he hopes Bill is still making turns. He says he spends most of the winter skiing the trees with his dog, Buddy. He tele-skied until April this year.

Sam Seven replied to Mikey on the Mt. Mancelona page that he got to ski in April (this year) after a big dump. They even had the T-bar running. As any of you who follow our Facebook page know, there are big plans for Mt. Mancelona. Anton Mal posted a link to the Mt. Mancelona Microbrew Festival. He also says he doesn’t think Mancelona ever had a chair, just two Poma lifts.

Lisa posted on the Cole Creek page that when her dad was 14 or 15, he lived in Atlanta. His mom made matching jumpsuits for his band to audition at Cole Creek. The owner saw them and hired them because they looked so professional. They were the house band every weekend that season.

Donald Ferguson says that his dad and he built his 1st Cub Scout derby car in the Kandahar maintenance building. He learned to ski around 1961 at Summit when Leo Doan owned it. He used to ski with John Callard whose dad was on the ski patrol. Don also replied to Tim Gaffney that he learned to ski at 5 years old at Summit. After that, he moved to Mt. Holly. He skied on wooden skis with cable bindings and lace boots. Carry Price grew up across the street from the red gate at Kandahar and could see the ski jump from her bedroom window. She remembers skiing the trails between the slopes and the hot chocolate at the fireplace and sledding down Devil’s Pit, snow forts and snowball fights. Also rope swings, biking on the track, and climbing the jump and the pines at the top in the summer. Jean (Carrigan) Moreno used to take her friends sledding below the jump. They’d push them off, spinning the saucers which would hit the hole where they took out the boulder, then they’s go airborne, cussing like sailors.  C replied to Marcia Henghold on the Kandahar page that Mr. Heydon at Carter used to bring the ski club every Wednesday for $8. Never heard of it after ’78. The Poma lift was a perfect way to learn to ski. Stuart Knickerbocker said that after joining the club, he doesen’t think he ever paid dues for the next 20 years because he was active on the board and put in up to 300 hours of work to keep the place running. Susan Knockerbocker Field replied to Heidi that they had so much fun there for so many years.

Sam Seven commented on Maple Mountain in Munising that he heard a kid died on the rope around 1989. He asked a gas station for directions recently and drove up the hill on a narrow road–it’s now private property. He met two people who said it was okay to be there. The road ends near the top of the lift. He thinks it closed around 2000 and was about 300′ vertical.

Kevin Scheid posed a comment about the closing of Pando Winter Sports Park by Cannonsburg, but I cannot approve it because it contains negative personal comments.  Marybeth C. Smith left a long comment on the Echo Valley page in reply to LHM Moonbeam. She said her brother posted old family movies on the Vanished Kalamazoo FB page. Their Granddad, Harold J. Moore, started Echo Valley by building a ski jump in 1934. That one blew down in a storm before it could be completed so he rebuilt in in ’35 and insured it with Lloyds of London. That one was destroyed by a tornado, and he rebuilt it in ’37, a 30m jump with a steel frame.  In ’46, he built the house and 6 rental cottages. She spent the first 6 years of her life in one of the cottages and every xmas until ’95 at the house. He put in 4 toboggan runs. The first ones were mud and wood, but they only lasted a year. The later ones were concrete. They added 2 runs in 1959 and 2 more in 1960 for a total of 8.They also added a skating rink. That’s the year they took off the end of the ski jump. Before the hill was Echo Valley, it was called Devil’s Gorge and was a motorcycle climbing hill. Grandpa came form England to the UP at the age of 6 and learned to ski jump. He jumped 167′ at Rochester in 1929. He later founded the Kalamazoo Ski Club. He stopped jumping at age 54. The 1st jumping meet at Campbell Lake (Echo Valley) was in 1936, the record was 97′ and there were entrants from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. the jumping and skiing went on until 1955, but by 1960 there was no more ski jumping.

Barb Kent posted about Snow Valley that she remembers the ski train. Maureen Christian wants to know the location of the old lodge at Snow Valley. Was it where the indoor pool is now or perhaps at the clubhouse for the Natural golf course? She asks if there were 20 runs at Snow Valley and if any of the fairways for the Natural follow them? Joan McCombs said on the Nub’s Nob page that Dori Sarns is her Dad’s sister. Joan lives in Louisville so she didn’t ski Nub’s much. The las time she saw Dori was when she bought a kayak in ’84. She remembers her closing the slopes with her dogs following her down the hill. Bob Sisco sent pictures of Skyline to Carolyn and Erich.

We hope you have been enjoying our site and want you to keep those stories, reminiscences, and messages coming to our blog and our Facebook page. If you have any pictures or documents to send us please do so via

Robert Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project





Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MILSAP Updates, May 12, 2018

It has been WAY TOO LONG since my last summary post just after Xmas. I can only say I was busy enjoying the ski season in Michigan and Vermont this winter. There have been 58 comments left on our website since my last post.

Sam Metcalf commented on our Snow Valley page that his family skied there in the 50s and it was a great family resort because all the slopes met at the bottom of the hill, making it easy to get to one from another. The main lodge at the top has a 4-sided fireplace, ticket sales, a bar/dining room, dance floor, and bowling alleys. The area had a metal toboggan run with a return tow. His family stayed at the Northernaire Motel and log cabins and often ate at Schlang’s Bavarian Restaurant which had good German food. Doug Lippert thanked Sam for sharing the memories. We do, too, Doug. hostirad commented on Snow Valley that she and her family lived in Ann Arbor in the 50s. She has memories of learning to ski and use the rope tow and of the cosy lodge. She found pictures and learned that her memories were of Snow Valley. Gary Chomiak commented that in 59, his parents became part owners. He started skiing there and remembers the ski jump. He thought it was unique. Actually, many areas had ski jumps at that time, and in the UP they’re still not uncommon.

Keith Pollock commented about Tyrollean Hills that he remembers it well and wishes he had pictures of it in its prime. He said it is a shame what it has become. Keith also would like permission to access the barn. GV said he stays in the old patrol building to hunt deer, but the old lodge is pretty vandalized. Zack Belwood is looking for pictures, old or current.

Rebecca Jones said on our Kandahar page that her grandfather was a co-owner of Summit and one year her mom was named Miss Summit. In the 80s, they became members of Kandahar. karla Callender-Giuliano remembers the Teen Friday Nights–hours of skiing to music and meeting other kids. She says she learned to ski of the Bunny Hill and Tony’s. Her family were members from the 60s until it closed. On New Year’s Eve they had a torchlight parade. She remembers the rust stains in the drinking fountain, cubbies to keep your things in, and the warmth of the fireplace. Jeanette Owen remembers her father renting a little shack near the lodge with an outhouse not too far away, black salamanders in the summer.

Joe Fessler also commented on Kandahar that his family were members from 62 to 76 and hot chocolate was $.10 in the lodge. His dad had to give permission to the rope tow operator to let him ride at age 6.  He learned to ski jump there from the Bendas and Mr. Hyvonen. He took trips with them to compete at Cadillac, Munising, and Iron Mtn. Bruce Lawson said his family joined the KSC at the old location. He helped erect the Poma lift at the new location when he was a teen. Mark asked Rebecca Jones if she was the girlfriend of Leo Doan? He also replied to Greg Ellis that he is Mark Ostrander, son of Ed. His dad worked in Detroit and at Kandahar on weekends. His brother has a Summit Ski Lodge pin.

Susan Knickerbocker Field left a couple stories about Kandahar. She replied to R. Black, “Randy, you were like a God to me and my friends. We loved watching you do flips and other stunts.” She also said her father, Stuart Knickerbocker designed additions to the lodge and named a slope “Flying Rock” after they used dynamite to remove stumps and sent a boulder flying. She says her dad once insisted taking her mom skiing on Sweet Pea.  Her mom was not much of a skier. He failed to tell her to let go of the Boomerang rope early. She crashed into the tow motor, took off her skis, walked back to the lodge, and never went skiing again. And Susan thinks her dad slept on the couch for a week or two.

Ted Stenger commented on our TimberLee Hills page that he attended a race camp there in 73 or 74 run by Heli Schaller, a former World Cup champion. Ed J. Bandoux commented about the Oxbow Club and Ski Area that he has friends who worked there, one as a caretaker and one as a tow rope operator. The caretaker used to have sledding parties but nobody ever made it to the bottom. HLM(Moonbeam) wants to know when Echo Valley opened. We’d like to know, too. Bill Hickley commented that he used to walk up to Diggins Hill Park to use the two rope tows. He also used the skiting rink and remembers the small warming shack. Jozlyin Vallade wants to know is she can bring a tent and camp in the woods at Mio Mtn? Bill Worden commented on Black Mtn That he grew up in Cadillac 46-63 and had cousins named Rauch in Cheboygan. They were all ski racers and often raced at Black Mtn.

Susan Allen commented on our Sheridan Valley page that she learned to ski there in the 50s. Her family owned a lodge on West Twin Lake. Chris Dixon and Peter Morley commented to each other on the Skyline page that they remember each other from 75. Chris said he skied with Perer’s brother Mark and that now he skis weekly in New England. Carolyn Nye Boyd said she posted pictures from Skyline from 40-90 on the Skyline page on Facebook. Tracy Lane commented to Paul on the Mt. Maria page that she learned to ski there when he was on ski patrol.

On our Lansing Ski Club page, Win Stebbins commented about ski shops in the Lansing area: Larabee’s, Sportsmeister, Freestyle Sports in Okemos, just east of Coral Gables. Sportsmeister also ran rentals at LSC for the last few years. The LSC property is now “The Greens” with entry of Park Lake Rd. Eric Harder and Gregg Park also commented on the ski shops.

Joe Kolakowski said that from Fonro he remembers Chris Emig. Joe says he owned the Knot Hole Bar in the 70s and 80s. Candice Van Bolt said on our Fonro Page that she had an old business card from Art Suddon and other memorabilia. Tom Suddon replied to her that Art was his grandfather and he would like to purchase the business card. Kari replied to Danny of that page to ask him is he was related to Glenn and Frank from Comins?

Jay Balliet sent links to old Caberfae trail maps. Al Donnelly commented about Caberfae that he has a  patch similar to our red one, but with a white “Caberfae”, brown stag head, and a black border. Bonnie Werth Stirler commented on Caberfae that she skied there in 61-63 when Franz Gabl was the ski pro there. He won the silver medal in the ’48 Olympic Downhill. She won lessons from him in a cribbage game. She remembers a private club there where they would have a few beers before they headed off to the bars in Cadillac.

Jason simply commented on our Royal Valley page, “Midnight Madness.” Fred Wark commented on the Mt. Mancelona page that there is a new owner as of last year who wants to re-open it in fall 2018. Mikey replied to Fred that there is a great deal of work to be done and don’t expect the slopes to open sooner than 2 or 3 years. However, they have been having a lot of fun fundraising activities, so check the MILSAP Facebook feed to keep up on what is going on there. Patrick Pung said on our Brady’s Hills page that he would like to acquire memorabilia from Brady’s. Christopher Van Eerden said that the hill at Middleville was used for mountain bike racing in the 90s. The clubhouse was renovated and they called it Retro Ranch.

Alan Larsen said his brother and he attended the summer jumping event at the Munising Ski Jump in 1960. It was the first time he had heard of jumping on plastic–common now. he has pictures of Gene Kotlarek jumping and of the jump itself. We’d love to see them, Alan. In 2014, we had a comment on our Franklin Hill page about an old ski jump visible from Nine Mile Road in Farmington Hills. Ed Grawronski commented on this jump that his father said it had been built by an Olympian. Derek Freund also commented on our Franklin Hill page that he remembers the ski jump from the 70s. It was on 9 Mile Rd. on the east side of Farmington or Southfield. His Dad told him it was built before 1918 by Henry Hall. He sent a link to a picture of the jump from the J. Willard Mariott Library at the University of Utah from the Alan K. Engen  Photo Collection dated between 1920 and 1930. Another link is to (of the Flint Rd. jump in Brighton). David Arscott is looking for pictures of the Briar Hill ski jump in the early 50s. He said he broke his ankle on his third sump there.

Jim Jacques replied on our Milsap Updates page remembering Warren Miller who recently passed away.

Craig Condon mentioned that he started snowboarding at Mt. Grampian in 81. He thought that was very early for a resort to allow it. Patrick M. Griffin remembers the teen parties at Silverbell between 67 and 71, alcohol-free, featuring the Spencer Davis Group, Fleetwood Mac, Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger, The Rationals, The Unrelated Segments, and The Grass Roots Movement. He remembers one group, Popcorn Blizzard, who had an exceptional singer with a great range; he later recognized him as Meat Loaf. That would have been around the time Meat Loaf was recording for Motown. Jon David Wanner said that a family member, Frank Cabana, bought TNT in the early 80s with Dr. Ryan L. Schroeder. Ryan built an octagonal house there.

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MILSAP Updates, December 26, 2017

We hope everyone had a Merry Xmas and is looking forward to a very Happy and Snowy New Year here in the Winter Wonderland of Michigan. As I write this, our mid-day “feels like” in Southeastern Michigan is -8F. We have had 25 comments arrive since our last summary at the end of October.

Hi Stover commented twice on our Ski Village page, once in reply to Richard Stubbs about the funny article, and once in reply to Jody Almon Seward to wish her a Merry Christmas and say how happy he was to read about her dad’s involvement on Ski Village. He also commented to Ed Kovak on the Mt. Frederick page that he would like to see a higher-res photo of the brochure.

Tom Ash commented on the Glacier Hills page that he is the eldest child of Everett and Wray Ash and has made a retro t-shirt of the 1956 brochure. He says mom and dad built the ski hill to keep the kids out of trouble. They also ran the skating rink in the summer. Snow (lilsnowpeep) commented on the Caberfae page that they have a brown Caberfae patch found among a box of old Girl Scout patches. Dave posted on our Ski Area Patches and Pins page that he has pins and patches for sale from Lansing SC, Thunder, Schuss, Crystal, and Sugar Loaf. Scott Altman replied to Dave that he has a Caberfae patch like the one shown for sale. Dave Lieberman replied to Scott Altman on our Ski Area Patches and Pins page that he would like a picture of the patch and wants to know the price.

Eric Harder commented on the Lansing Ski Club page in reply to Floyd Sutherland about a possible brother in his class at ELHS. He said he skied there in the 60’s and 70’s. Jeff Oster replied to Bob on the LCS page that he was a former ski rep for Marker/Look/Koflach/SOS in the 80’s and regretted the loss of LCS. Lora Rozzi replied to Tom on the Royal Valley page that Sharon is her neighbor.

Robert Morris commented on the Pinckney State Recreation Area page that he lives on the trail just past Barton Road and looks forward to skiing it. Alan Wieling replied to Marcia the the Pontiac Lake site for Kandahar had a 60m or 70m ski jump. He said the sledding hill to the east was good for about one walk up! Tim Carr reminded us that Apple Mountain will be closed for the current (17-18) ski season due to snowmaking problems.

Abi Salisbury commented on Barn Mountain that she remember it as a child. her father was a dispatcher for the Boyne City PD. They lived on Park Street and went sledding there every winter. Noquemenon, a History | the Guern posted on the Al Quall page that there is a sizeable exhibit about Al in the Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming.

Dave Norris likes our website. He posted on the Ward Hills page that a lot of pictures of Camp Martin Johnson and Ward Hills are missing from the CMJ website. He said he added us to the blogroll at the Big Bass Lake and Beyond site. Thanks, Dave. Jim Reed commented about Bear Hills that his family bought the area in ’72 and ran it until ’78. They still own the property. He replied to “as above” that he remembers that day. Kent replied to Jim Reed “Me, too. Rommel’s Last Camel spraying it down. Sharpen those edges.” Bill Jennings replied “Hello” to Jim. Tom Fullerton sent a picture of his family in the parking lot at Big M in 1967. Unfortunately we were not able to access it using the gmail link he provided.

We hope you have been enjoying our site and want you to keep those stories, reminiscences, and messages coming to our blog and our Facebook page. If you have any pictures or documents to send us please do so via

Robert Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project

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MILSAP Updates, October 31, 2017


Happy Halloween! Since the end of Summer, there have been 16 comments on our pages, but none about haunted ski areas or the Michigan Dogman.

Thad Sienkiewicz from the Friends of Highland Recreation Area posted on our Teeple Hill page about an event they held back in August. This is a very active group; you should check them out. James L. Teeple from Ohio, wondered about the origin of the name, Teeple Hill.

Fay Hall, daughter of  Henry Hall and niece of the other famous Hall brothers left a rather long comment on the Northville Jump page. She has sent memorabilia to the Northville Historical Society about the old ski slide. She also sent info to Brighton and plans to send some to Rochester and Farmington Hills about the ski slides that were constructed there. This is the 100th anniversary of Henry’s most memorable World Championship jump and she would like anyone who has more information to please send it to her at fayhall at Please help her out.

Rosanne commented on the AuSable Ski Ranch page that her grandfather, George Georgeson,  from Detroit was the original investor and planned to retire there, but he died in an auto accident in ’51. Mary (Haney) Hayes worked summers at the ranch in the early ’60’s. She was an assistant to assistant manager Jean Arthurs, who worked for manager Jerry Fairbanks. Mary loved the rustic feel of the place. James Tank Richard was the Nordic Director of Michaywe from ’84-’92 under Alpine Director Pat Samalik. Pat built the 10 and 20 meter jumps, the only certified jumps in lower Michigan at that time. The kids used to line up to use them. He said the XC trails were 2nd to none.

Tammy Clark, housekeeper at TimberLee Hills, would like to see some pictures of the area and the upstairs of the lodge when there was skiing there. So would we. Please post them here or send them via the instructions on the About MILSAP page. Tammi Day (Henge) commented on the Snow Bowl page that her family had a cabin on River Rd and they later owned and operated the D&D Grocery near the camp. She sledded at Snow Bowl in the early ’70’s with the help of a snowmobile to get up the hill. Tris Harkness replied to Mary on the Fonro page that she had been a patroller there. jasonelmoreblog left a comment on the Diggins Hill Park page that the rope tows operated weekends through 1980. He said use declined as Caberfae made improvements.

Karen commented on the Middleville Ski Resort page that her father was an owner of the resort. She said she would like to see an old ski patch. Chip Richards said on the Eskar Hills page that our link to google maps was not working. It works for me, but only brings up a map of the Middleville area–we still don’t know the exact location of the old area.

David Thomas Hart left a long post on the Mt. Brighton page about being a 17-year-old Brit learning to ski at Mt. Brighton and writing letters home about the “massive and dangerous” runs ;-). He stayed in the US for college at CMU. Great story.

Pam Dawson Bennink said she skied at Bear Mtn. and Skyline in the ’60’s and was very appreciative of our blog. Bill left a suggestion on our Thunder Bowl page that we check our the Schoolcraft County Historical Society Facebook page. We’ll do that, Bill.

Joe Kadsban sent some information on Bear Hills near Bear Lake to our Facebook page. Rick Trommater sent recent pictures of Russell’s Ridge. He says it’s 5 mi E of Oceana Drive on Polk Road, then continue S where the roar turns E and look for the old barn. Jim Severise said that he used to ski at Major Mtn. from ’71-’73. It was private, operated by 40-50 families. He had keys and took friends there from CMU. They built big fires in the fireplace and had great apres-ski parties

We hope you have been enjoying our site and want you to keep those stories, reminiscences, and messages coming to our blog and our Facebook page. If you have any pictures or documents to send us please do so via

Robert Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project

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MILSAP Updates, August 22, 2017

Hi. As Summer is winding down, there have been 31 comments on MILSAP this Summer so far.

Pamela Thompson Crawford commented on the Sheridan Valley page that she grew up on Avery Lake and used to ski through the woods to get to the ski area. Jeff Fleming sent pictures of Ski World and Royal Valley. Kevin Murtagh commented on Tyrolean Hills that he is looking for information about when Jack Detleffs owned the area, with pictures if possible.  Can anyone help him out?

Gary Gariglio replied to Bob Sisco on the Skyline page that he would like Bob to send him the pictures of Skyline. Steve commented on Brady’s Hills that he offered the furniture to Brady Paulson and he accepted. W.C. Boonstra remembers that the sign for Brady’s Hills had orange letters on a brown background. When it changed to Winterskol, the sign changed to blue (or black) on a white background.

Mary Jones Kucharek left a message on the Fonro page for Trish. James Fleming replied to Mike and Marsha Taylor on the same page about the Nawakwa hunting area. Mike Taylor replied to James that he knew the hunting area was once referred to as Nawakwa because he started hunting over 60 years ago at the Bonehead Club, just north of the Nawakwa section. Steve says he has a 45 RPM record of the Don Brost Trio on the Fonro label. He wonders if it is related to the ski area. I found a listing for a copy of the record on an auction site (for $9.99) that said it was a rare Michigan recording. Anyone know anything about this?

Jeff Brosch commented about Lansing Ski Club that his family, which used to own Mt. Holiday, bought the LSC lights at auction and they’re still in use at Mt. Holiday. He said LSC had been heavily vandalized by the time of the sale–the chairlift cable had been cut.

Richard Hewitt said he had skied at Middleville Ski Resort in the Mid 60s and still had a ski patch. We asked him to send a picture. Richard also posted a picture of Esker Hills Ski Area and said he had patches from Esker Hills and Carousel Mountain. We asked him to send copies. Drew also asked on our Ski Area Patches and Pins page if Richard could send him a picture of the Carousel Mountain patch because he lives on the dune where Carousel used to stand.

Theresa DeYoung asked how to get to Mulligan’s Hollow for the Coast Guard Festival.

Karyl commented on Bear Hills that he skied there for his first time. He remembers falling down and having a hard time getting up. He also remembers the snack bar with hot chocolate and the rope tow that tore up your gloves. Joseppe Kadzbanski commented on Bear Hills that it was perhaps somewhere on Potter Rd. Anybody got a more exact location?

K.S. commented about the AuSable Ski Ranch that he grew up about a mile away in Michaywe. He learned to ski there in the 90s. When it became the Michaywe Ski Area, he skied from 9-9. He remembers building a cheese-wedge jump to clear the creek at the bottom. B.K. remembers that his high school took them to AuSable to learn to ski. Lori S. Lowery learned to ski at Mt. Maria with the Alpena Schools between 72 and 78 and thinks the bus was sponsored by the local newspaper.  She loved it. You could buy a season pass in the summer for $95.

Wyss Wickman said he visited the Vanderbilt Ski Club site a few days ago, it’s about 5 mi from his cabin. He says there is an old house and remnants of a rope tow at the bottom of the hill, but the rest of the hill is gated, with a keypad. According to the topo, it is about 200′ higher than Boyne Mountain. He thinks it is sad that it wasn’t a ski hill longer. Kingsley Bussey says Boyne Highlands is a “bump.”

WC Boonstra wants to know if Newago Winter Sports Park was also known as Whiskey Ridge? He remembers a sign on Maple Island Rd. in 74-75 saying “Ski Whiskey Ridge.” He said it had a slope or two with a rope tow in 68.

Bob Sisco sent along pictures of the lift at Mackinac College Ski Slope and of the hill at Brady’s Hills.

Matt Brady said he learned to ski in ’61 at the Summit Ski Club. Kathy Ochs remembers horseback riding at Teeple Hill. Linda E. Ludwick grew up on State Rd outside of Alma and was neighbors with Phyllis and Earl Damon of Mott Mountain. She skied there when she was in her 20’s and remembers feeling that it was cozy and felt like home.

Finally, Fay Hall, daughter of Henry Hall, former World Champion ski jumper and holder of several world records, commented on the Brighton Ski Jumps page that her dad and his brothers built the ski scaffolds at Northville, Rochester, and Brighton. She said she has sponsored a perpetual trophy at Steamboat Springs training center (where her dad set his first world record) for youngsters. She would like to contact the Rochester Historical Society about making a movie about her father or perhaps a writer to help with a biography. Anyone interested?

We hope you have been enjoying our site and want you to keep those stories, reminiscences, and messages coming to our blog and our Facebook page. If you have any pictures or documents to send us please do so via

Robert Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project


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MILSAP Updates, May 30, 2017


Hi. As I promised a couple weeks ago, I have gone through my E-mail and started working on the items sent to me over the past few months.

Ed Kovak sent pictures of Snow Valley and Mt. Frederick brochures which are now posted on those pages. The Mt. Frederick brochure has a picture of Jodie Almon, daughter of Al and Stevie, who contacted me a few weeks ago; I hope she sees it.

Bill Jamerson sent along a DVD copy of his movie, Winter Wonderland — Michigan’s Golden Age of Skiing, which aired on Michigan Public Television in 1995. It starts with ski jumping in the UP, covers the rise of winter sports parks in the 1920’s, and the development of downhill skiing in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. It has great archival footage of Boyne mountain, Otsego, Caberfae, Pine Mountain, and Mt. Holly. I will see if I can excerpt a few clips to publish here on the blog. If you are interested in a copy of this great video, it is available for $20.00 plus $4.00 S&H from William Jamerson, PO Box 792, Escanaba, MI 49892. His website is

Casey Buckleitner sent along a great picture of the skiing page from the Detroit Free Press for January 6, 1961. It lists 74 areas open for skiing that year. It also had an ad for Mission Hill touting their lodging, double chairlift and lots of snow, confirming that the area was open under that name into the 1960’s.

Mark B. Snider sent a picture of his collection of Michigan ski patches and one pin. I have asked him to sent individual pictures of each of them as I do not have most of them in the MILSAP collection. He did sent along one great picture of a Mission Hill patch which was one of our original clues to the existence of an area operated by the Lakeshore Ski Club under that name before it became Iroquois Mountain.

Terry Edwards, former ski writer for the Detroit Free Press in the 1960’s and a founding member of the Metro Detroit Ski Council, sent along a BIG box of  clippings, press releases, photos brochures, etc. from her years in the business. It will take me some time(!) to sift through it all, but we will be publishing many items from this collection and will keep you apprised.

Please keep those reminiscences coming in the form of comments on our pages, posts to our Facebook page and emails to We love to hear what you have to say.

Bob Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project

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MILSAP Updates, May 15, 2017

Hello there. It has been way too long since I posted an update, but I was on vacation with limited Internet access and when I returned there always seemed to be too many things to do. Well, enough excuses, there have been 32 comments in the last 3 months.

Amanda requested that Jeremy contact her about the Mackinac College Ski Slopes. She is working on a piece for “The Ski Journal,” a publication based in western Washington. Chuck Chaltron said he has an original road sign from Snow Bowl. He picked it up years ago while hunting, the day he got his first (and only) deer. We asked him to send us a picture. Paul said he has some old 8mm of his grandparents at Snow Bowl. He has transferred it to DVD.

Sean Lorbeske said that he explored Skyline on snowmobile with a friend this past winter and visited our site while researching the history of the area. Erich from the city of Grayling Zoning Department sent a request to Bob Sisco to forward any pictures he has from Skyline to use in a presentation they are developing to market the property. He posted an email link to the department.

Max R. Thiele left long, historical comments on both the Pinnacles and Tyrolean Hills pages. He also asked if anyone has pictures of the log lodge. Paul Ferszt wants to know is anyone remembers a waitress at Tyrollean Hills named Cheri.

Anne S. said she worked at the nursery at Sugar Loaf for the last 4 seasons it was open. She said she would look for pictures and would send them along if she finds them. Matthew Heinemann replied to Larry on the Sylvan Knob page. He said his family skied there in the ’60s and ’70s. The kids had to buy their $60 season pass. He remembers great hamburgers, fun slopes and jumps, and good times!

Bill Panzika commented to Dave on the Royal Valley page that he used to patrol with Dave and his dad. David Siekman left a reply. Ed Kobak replied to Jody Almon Seward on the Mt. Frederic page that he has an old brochure with a picture of her. He sent pictures to me and I will post them soon.

Tracey Sanders provided her contact information to Karen on the Mt. Grampian page. Mark Kimmerly requested pictures of Silver Bell. Dave Sherwood posted a link to a list of all the rock groups that performed at Silver Bell from the Motor City Music Archives. Detroit57 said he skied Silver Bell once in the ’65-’67 time frame. He recalled that it has about 125′ of vertical with two or three chairlifts, two T-bars and ropes. he said it faced away from M-24.

Michael Sleep found a picture of a painting of a ski jump at Caberfae from 1938 by Carlos Lopez, a professor at U of M. Old Goats and Nannies reminisced that he worked with Everett to build the golf course at Boyne Mountain. Dan Montgomery said he grew up skiing at Thunder where his dad was on the ski patrol. Bruce Clapp remembers that before it closed, Thunder was only open on weekends, so if there was a good snow week you could get great powder runs on the un-groomed trails first thing Saturday morning, then head over to ski Boyne Mountain on the same pass when the runs packed out. Michael Smith also skied Thunder. He sprained an ankle on Pico and then a knee on Sun Valley and wishes the deed restrictions would come off.

Doug Joy said he started skiing at Mott Mountain in the early ’60s. There were 2 ropes and he had to ride behind a “grown up” or a “bigger kid” because he wasn’t strong enough to hold the rope up by himself. Barb Kent said she skied at Snow Valley between ’55 and ’58.

Adez7 replied to Denise on the Fonro page that he remembers two men and one woman on the ski patrol: Tom Straley was in charge and he (the writer) was Tris Harkless. The woman was Olivia. He also remembers Tom Brost. Rhonda skied at Fonro in the early ’60s. Her last name was Lee and her uncle Harlan Brost and cousin Don Brost helped run the lodge. Susan Edwards said her family used to rent an A-frame at Cole Creek over Xmas break and she would ski all day on the two hills.

Bob Felton says he currently owns the property at Glacier Hills, he bought it in ’98 and built two homes there. The one at the bottom is a vacation rental with, and he lives in the one at the top. The Poma bases and rope remains are still visible. Eric Harder remembers racing at the Lansing Ski Club.

I have several items that you have sent by email to post on the site and I have also received a whole box of information by mail with many, many brochures and press releases from the ’50s and ’60s. I will get this information sorted and posted soon, I hope. We are still hoping to hear any information about a possible lost ski area named Thornapple. In the mean time, we hope you have been enjoying the discussions on our pages and please keep those comments coming to our blog and our Facebook page.

Bob Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project

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MILSAP Updates, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! It has been over 7 weeks since our last update and there has been a lot of activity on the blog and on our Facebook page. We have received 63 comments during that period, including 31 just about Fonro, with 4 more about the Lansing Ski Club and another 5 relating to Kandahar. We also have a new “lost” ski area: Mt. Kimberly, and are looking for another: Thornapple.

Mike Potter made a bold claim to more time on the hill at Lansing Ski Club than anyone! He skied there from the time he was 3 almost every season day, and later, night until it closed. He was into freestyle: moguls, aerials,  ballet, and later into racing. he went on to become a pro racer and raced against some of his Wild World of Sports childhood heroes. Eric Harder went to E. Lansing high and raced at LSC. Bob Ucman replied to Win Stebbins on the LSC thread “Hi Win,” and to Jan Harold Brumvand “Hi, we met on a lift at Snowbird.” Gary Goodridge worked there as a lifter in ’76 with some of his freshman dorm-mates.He says the job was boring, watching the chairs go by, but the end-of-season party was great, with traying down the hill.

Richard Laws commented that he remembers skiing at Middleville Ski Area with his 6th grade class in 1980, but that it was closed by 1989. Michael S. Jaskulski commented on Lost Pines Lodge that he was never there in winter but he remembers stables and horseback riding in ’70 or ’71. H. D. Laursen says he visited Big M while in HS. he never learned to ski, but he met his Sr. Prom date there when she broke her leg and he carried her books between classes for the rest of the year. Sam Seven reminded us that Pando has been closed for two years since Cannonsburg bought it, but says they have been re-modelling the lodge and hope to re-open next year. Timothy Thoits asks if anyone has heard of an area called Thornapple owned by Bill Seidman?

Kate Villereal commented on the Thunder Mountain thread that Tim taught her how to use the T-bar and Poma lifts. She then graduated to the slope next to the beginners slope where she was run over by the groomer. Her dad rescued her and took her to the hospital to be checked out (she was okay) and while the were there her brother was also brought to the hospital, quite a day! Robert Mogford wrote that in 1990 or ’91, Warren bought the old yellow lift from Nub’s and installed it at Mt. Holiday. Mark James said that his family had season passes for Schuss Mountain from ’68-’73, but one day when his dad was sick, they went down the road to Mt. Maplehurst. It was not much of a challenge.

Katrina Gross commented on Mott Mountain that she learned to ski there in 1971-73 on the rope and the chairlift. Dave Cox wrote on the Irish Hills thread that he went there several times with his family of 8 when the Toledo Blade offered a ski and lesson special of $10 per family-they couldn’t pass up the bargain. He said it is now a housing development. Jean replied to Dave that it is sad, but the memories of those days are great.

Jody Almon Seward commented on both Mt. Frederic and Ski Village threads that she is Al Almon’s daughter and wants to know what information we would like about those areas associated with her father. Primarily, we would like to know when the areas opened and closed, how many lifts and slopes they had during those years, and any interesting stories about their operation.

Mike posted on the Fonro thread that he would like more information about the airport. Danny P. Pfaff commented that the band that played there was “The Slick City Rockers” from Traverse City. he also said that his dad and uncle helped build the lodge and that his brother, Brian, worked there in the ’70s. Karen Giradot replied to Hope Suddon that she remembered her parents Art and Marion and her Grandfather Jules. He also replied to Karen Giradot as did several others that the family name was Suddon and they had 14 children. He wrote to David Fons that Danny’s father, Wayne, helped build the lodge and roofed the Tepee. Candice Van Nort replied to David that she had been to their home when his sister had a compound fracture.

Angie replied to Karen Giradot on the Fonro page that a few Suddons still live in the area. Dawn Fredrickson also told her that Carol lives in town across from the party store. Kathy told Karen that Art and Marion Suddon were her uncle and aunt. Hope Suddon replied to Karen that there were 14 children and some still live in Comins. Tony, Morgan, B Ballard, and Robin (Suddon) Ballard all replied to Karen that there were 14 chuildren, 7 boys and 7 girls, with Robin naming them.

Ted Duckworth posted in the Fonro thread that “all the stories about Fonro are true.” He said his great uncle Art Suddon was bartender there and Ted’s first job was there in ’77-78, the year it bacame Cole Creek Lodge. Robert Emig and Morgan replied to Preston that it is on Emig Rd. 1 mi. E of M-33.  Denise Peters Smith recalled that she loved going there in the ’70s and that her wedding reception was at Fonro. Robert Hink reported that his family owned a neighboring property. Mary Jones noted that she and her mother moved to the area in ’62. Her mom cooked and tended bar there and took reservations. Mary led horseback trail rides and helped with the snowmobiles. Jenny Balmer commented that when she was a waitress in the restaurant in the ’70s, she could make $60/night in tips–a lot of money in those days.

Mike and Marion Taylor have lived in Comins for 60 years and posted a detailed history of  the Fonro property over the past 35 years. They note that Fonro had horseback riding and snowmobiling and as Cold Creek Lodge had a regulation Trap and Skeet range. Their post is very comprehensive–you will have to read it if you want all the details. Denise thanked them for all the history.

Nathan Kurtz wrote on the Kandahar thread that he grew up across the street and his family all had great times there. Mary Ann Carrigan-Stadler echoed that, saying she likely ate more meals at Kandahar than at home. She remembers that when they called last run, she and her friends would put on their packs, go up the Poma and ski down Intermediate and across the road where they would stick their skis in the snow and go inside to make pizza. Heidi Harrison Brown remembers the great times skiing, sledding (sometimes down the ski jump) and swinging on the Poma poles and misses all the wonderful friends she made. Stephanie Martin Storhl remembers those days because of the pictures of the ski jump that were posted.

Daryl Turcott posted a link to a video of Silver Bell as it is now. Tim Gardner remembered being snowed in at Silver Bell for 2 days after the blizzard of ’67.

Robert Leopard commented on Black Mountain that he skied there once or twice. he said the ridge was steep, but not high and the ropes offered little variety in contrast to Sylvan. Robert also commented on The Pinnacles that his family had a membership in the ’60s or ’70s because it was closer to Alpena than Sylvan. He remembers the ski rental was run by Tom Staley from Alpena who was a former Olympic skier. He says the area is located at 45,05’04.5″N28,04.4″W. Tim Finn commented about Mt. Maria that his family skied there coming up from Detroit. He said the lodge had the perfect rustic ski atmosphere.

Our new “lost” ski area is Mt. Kimberly in Gogebic County in the UP. Anthony Grudnoski reports that it was open in the late ’50s. He said the ironwood Daily Globe listed it as open on Feb 21, 1957 along with Mt. Zion and Porcupine Mountains. He also found in the Wakefield News on September 24, 1969, that the Marenisco Twp board voted to discontinue operation of the ski area.

In the mean time, we hope you have been enjoying our Michigan ski season and please keep those comments coming to our blog and our Facebook page.

Bob Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project

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MILSAP Updates, December 23, 2016


Well, it’s been 5 weeks since our last post and the holidays are almost here! It is finally Winter and for the past week or two, the weather has been suitably wintry. Last month we learned of a new, lost area, and this month we have another new one and the possibility of a third! Merry Christmas to us. We have also received 14 new comments on our pages and a slew of activity on our Facebook page.

Our new area came from a Facebook post–Russell’s Ridge near Hart. It was mentioned in a post on Facebook and confirmed by an article in the Detroit Free Press dated October 27, 1968 which listed it as a new area scheduled to open that season. Another Facebook comment seemed to indicate it was closed in the winter of 1970, so perhaps it didn’t last long. If you know anything about skiing at Russell’s Ridge, please help us out.

Daryl Turcott replied to Trish Ellis on the Mt. Grampian page that he knew Marty, Marylou, and Elizabeth Ellis and lived down the street. Marc replied to Brad “Hoser” Miller on the Mott Mountain page that he just drove by the area today (11/18) and thought it was a cool place. Terry Feldman Keatley commented about Apple Mountain that she broke her leg there when she was 10 (51 years ago). She remembers skiing with her sisters, apples, cider, warm donuts and the slopes. Now lived in Colorado where the slopes are on mountains. Craig Bronson commented about Kandahar that he remembers breaking a leg on Chicken Ridge, his favorite hill was Apache (before they widened it) and he remembers crock-pots plugged in all over and stealing dad’s beer from the snowbank.

Jay commented on our Sugar Loaf page that there is a new owner. There were a number of announcements on Facebook that the may have plans to re-open it as a 4-season resort. However, on a tour of the property, he announced that “hammers will not swing” for at least two years. We look forward to returning the Loaf to our list of Current Ski Areas as soon as possible.

Bob asked on our Thunder Mountain page when it opened and if Herb Walker was the first manager. Bill Behse replied that it opened in ’57 and Joe and Donna Behse, the principal owners were the first managers. Eric Harder replied to Will Stebbins on the Lansing Ski Club page that Mr. Stebbins took him and Chuck Yost on a ski trip to the UP in the ’60s. Eric remembers learning to ski at LSC with Tom Green.

Bob Wiest says he skis at Big M a few times every year; he uses the x/c trails to access the slopes. It’s a blast to ski the hills on the newer fat nordic skis, telemark style, although you can also use regular x/c gear or snowshoes. Chris Morely replied to Ben Dancer on the Skyline page that he remembers going with Ben to Mike Russell’s ski camp in Tennesee. Jessica Hartlein commented on the Tyrollean Hills page that the log cabin was at the bottom of the chairlift, but has been gone for 10 or 20 years. She thinks the pool was filled in. Terry Edwards replied to kapollock asking if she remembered Snow Valley.

Terry also commented on our Brighton Ski Jumps page that in 1958, Steamboar Springs was celebrating an anniversary. They were looking for people who had won competitions there in days past. Terry located Henry and Clarence Hall, famous jumpers from Detroit and the UP. Henry had set a record at Steamboat many years before. The Ford Ski Club sponsored the brothers’ trip to Steamboat and henry took his jumping skis. They wouldn’t let him jump on the Holmenkollen jump where he had set his record, but his did jump on a practice jump.

Finally, Rex replied to Kyle V on the Bald Eagle page that his family owned property on Herringbone Ridge in Clarkston. He wondered it that was the same area as Bald Eagle. Can anyone help with this? Do we have another lost area in SE Michigan? Please let us know.

In the mean time, we hope everyone has a happy, snowy Holiday Season and thinks about the good times they may have enjoyed at Michigan ski areas in days gone by.

Bob Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project

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