MILSAP Updates, May 12, 2018

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 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.

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, 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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