Formerly the Summit Ski Club, the Kandahar Ski Club continued to operate as a private club with public ticket sales through the 1970’s until it was subdivided and became a housing development.
According to businessprofiles.com, the “KANDAHAR SKI CLUB OF MICHIGAN was formed on 1947-12-22 in Michigan by TERRY PEABODY.” Their universal business ID was MI-721122. The company has since been dissolved. Doug Atwater, below, states that the club operated at an earlier location on state land before acquiring the former Summit location. According to a post by “grumpyoldguy” on Liftlines Skiing and Snowboarding Forums, Motor News, the AAA Michigan magazine, in Jan 1962 listed both Summit Ski Club and Kandahar Ski Club. The latter was apparently operating in the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area. On the Satellite map, the most likely location would have been on the north side of a ridge just south of the current modern campsites. The 1961 version of the AAA Winter Sports Fun List sent to us by Casey Buckleitner shows the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area as a ski site for the Kandahar Ski Club with (I think) 5 slopes and 3 tows (it’s hard to read).
The Evening Independent from St. Petersburg, FL, in an article on page 9B of their Nov. 17, 1970 issue listed Kandahar as a new ski area in Michigan, operated as a private club. Neither Kandahar (nor Summit) was listed in the 1971 AAA Michigan Winter Sports Fun List (published in Dec. 1970), perhaps because it was primarily a private area.
On our Facebook page, Brad Tetu commented (jokingly) that Kandahar is in Afghanistan. He’s right, and I had long wondered why the area was called that. I figured it might have to do with the big ski race in Germany, but that just pushes the question forward to how a ski race in Germany came to be named for a city in Afghanistan. I don’t have the full answer, but here goes:
Kandahar is the 2nd largest city in Afghanistan. It was founded in 330 BCE by Alexander the Great and was named by him “Alexandria” as his habit was to name all the cities he founded by that name. Over the centuries, the name morphed into Kandahar.
In 1880, a British General in the Army of India named Frederick Roberts had just conquered Kabul when he had to lead a relief force to Kandahar. He won the Battle of Kandahar on September 1, 1880 and received many accolades. He went on to serve with distinction in India and Africa and was awarded the title of Baron of Kandahar (even though the British had withdrawn from Afghanistan long before). After he retired in the early 1900′s, he was active in British alpine sporting clubs and donated trophies for several races, some of which were named “Kandahar” in his honor. Today there are slopes or races by that name in Germany, Austria, and France.
I suspect that the Kandahar Ski Club in Michigan was named for one of those European slopes or events, perhaps by a German or Austrian immigrant or maybe a WWII vet who had served there. If any of you know how the Kandahar Ski Club got its name, please let us know.
Here is a link to current pictures of the hill.
Here are some pictures and maps of Kandahar sent to us by Harry Hammond:
More Kandahar Pictures from Heather Orr:
Several former Kandahar members have been working on a list of the slope names. Harry Hammond sent us their latest effort on 01/16/2014.