On 5/3/14, “Bill” left us a hint on the MILSAP Updates post about another “lost” ski area in the Leelenau Peninsula. He says that the Leelenau 4H Ski Club (which still exists) used to ski using a home-made rope tow with a tractor engine at Stanley Ball’s ski hill off Wheeler Rd. near Maple City. If any of you former 4Hers remember skiing there, please let us know.
On 6/2/14, Scott Stillings claimed “(that) the Leelenau 4H ski slope you mentioned is, evidently, still on that farm. His (Stanley Ball’s) son is still a local resident and perhaps another skier from the area knows him and has contact info. I believe he is a contractor. Great detective work by MILSAP.”
Apparently the area was knows as Chainsaw Mountain and operated with a tractor-powered rope-tow in the 50’s and 60’s. Skiing action eventually passed to Miller Hill and then Sugarloaf, where Mr. Ball was one of the first operators along with his friend, Hans “Peppi” Teichner. The Ball property eventually passed to the Theiss family, and the hillside has been preserved for posterity as the birthplace of skiing in the Leelenau Peninsula by an easement to the Leelenau Conservancy.