Mt. Frederick – Frederic

from the Otsego Chamber of Commerce 50th Anniversary History:

Developed by legendary Canadian ski instructor Al Almon who had managed Otsego for three years before opening Ski Village in nearby Waters in 1948, Mt. Frederick was between Frederic and Waters and opened in 1955.  In 1957, Almon closed Ski Village to concentrate on Mt. Frederic. In 1964, just after Christmas, some kids broke into the bar and a fire burned the lodge to the ground. Almon called it quits and became a ski manufacturers’  rep eventually going to Boyne to work in the ski shop for over 20 years.

In 1959, Sports Illustrated noted Mt. Fredrick (sic) in Fredric as a new area with 8 1,000-foot slopes; 3 1,000-foot T bars all with 200-foot drop; 5 rope tows; two-story clubhouse with snack bar and ski shop. On Feb. 10, 1961, The Ludington Daily News ski report listed Mt. Frederick (sic) with 4″ fresh snow on an 6 to 8″ base for excellent ski conditions.

On Jan. 4, 1968, The Cass City Chronicle printed the AAA Guide to Winter Sports Fun in Michigan which listed Mt. Frederick with 15 slopes, 3 T-Bars, 5 tows, x-c trails, snowmaking and night skiing.

Ed Kovak sent the following pictures of a Mt. Frederick brochure:

If you have any recollections of skiing at Mt. Frederick, please pass them along to us. Just follow the instructions on the About MILSAP page.

7 Responses to Mt. Frederick – Frederic

  1. Jim Jacques says:

    My Parents and their neighbors skied at Mt. Frederic in the early 60’s. My father is 80 and remembers it very well. After it closed, they started going to Fonro.

  2. Tom H says:

    The runs are still there but some fun hating government types put guardrail across the hills to deter fun seekers from playing on it. We go there all the time in the winter and play on the hills with snowmobiles. But you have to watch out for the guardrails. We also ride our dirtbikes on it in the summer. You can find it at the corner of Twin Peaks Rd and Deward. Just north of Kola Creek Rd.

  3. Kerry Irons says:

    I skied at Mt. Frederick at least once but no more than twice. Our high school ski club did an excursion there either in the winter of 66-67 or 67-68 (bus trip) and I may have gone with friends once too, but I don’t think so. The only “lift” I remember was a VERY fast rope tow in front of the warming lodge. Your best bet was to bank up the hill toward the lodge and then do a quick 180 turn so you hit the rope at speed. If you tried to grab it from a standing start it would smoke your gloves. My memory was that at least one of the T-bars was out of commission and I think I rode one other, but it may be that the more challenging slopes were all served by rope tows and so I stayed on them.

    The fact that there was a day lodge in ’67 or ’68 conflicts with the “burned to the ground in ’64” narrative above, but perhaps it got rebuilt or at least something got built. My memory is that it was pretty Spartan facility but I’ve been in so many small Michigan day lodges that things kind of blur together. I understand the dynamics that have closed dozens of small Michigan ski areas but I sort of mourn their loss. I would love to have been able to take my kids (and now my granddaughter) to some of those places just to show them what things were like back in the day.

  4. Jody Almon Seward says:

    Al was my Dad.

    • ed kobak says:

      I have a brochure from Mt Frederick showing your parents and you. I can send you photos of it (not for sale).

      • Hi Stover says:

        Good morning Ed. Would it be possible to get a higher resolution photograph of the Mt Frederic brochure? I remember going there with my father when the resort was owned by a gentleman named Tom Robinson. I believe that my dad operated the ski shop there at that point in time.

    • Hi Stover says:

      Merry Christmas Jodi! I was just doing a search for Mt. Frederic and came upon this article. I was happy to read the history of your dad’s involvement in it certainly brought back memories of those places for me and my family in the 50s and 60s.

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