Mott Mountain – Farwell reports that in 1971 Mott installed a 1064′ Sneller double chairlift with a 167′ vertical rise. The year before, The Cass City Chronicle on Dec. 10, 1970 published the 1971 AAA Michigan Winter Sports Fun List which said Mott had 12 slopes, 6 rope tows and snowmaking. When Mott closed, it had 1 double and 3 ropes  for 7 slopes on an optimistically listed 225′ vertical. It re-opened briefly as Silver Ridge and maybe Black Mountain.

If you have any information about skiing at Mott Mountain, please post it or send it via the directions on the About MILSAP page.

19 Responses to Mott Mountain – Farwell

  1. Scott Stillings says:

    Mott Mountain was, at one time, owned by George Palmer, his son Kelly still lives in Farwell and operates an automotive garage. Kelly could shed some light and possibly share some memorabilia. George sold to Earl and Phyllis Damon (sp?). Either Earl installed that chairlift or the installation overlapped the change in ownership, I believe. I skied, raced, then taught skiing at Mott from 1967 until 1974. The famous artist, Todd Warner, and his brothers Craig and Kent, were all on the ski school staff. Warner Real Estate (Farwell) might be a good lead for information. After George Palmer, Mark Rupert was the ski school director. Current (2012) Traverse City Central coach, Brad Miller skied Mott. Lisa Woolever (Clare) skied on the pro freestyle tour after her childhood on the Mott slopes. There was quite a lively competition between Snowsnake and Mott skiers, led by the Gershon (Clare physician), Chamberlain (Mt. Pleasant physician) and Demo (pronounced DEE-mo, Clare gas station operator) families. I own a Mott Mt. patch and some family photos showing lots of rope tows and racing.

    Ski ya later…

    Scott Stillings
    PO Box 9
    Harbor Springs, MI 49740

  2. Brad "Hoser" Miller says:

    I started skiing at Mott Mt. and can still remember my first time out just missing the lodge as I slid into the parking lot next to our truck. Mott had a chair and a double tow to the top and on weekends it was chocked full of folks from Saginaw and Detroit. Mark “Rupe” Rupert was the ski school director and Earl Damon was the fiery Owner. When we were young our parents would dump us off to ski and then they would head to the slope side bar and Dance to music performed by the “Moon lighters”.

    From an early start Kelly Palmer, Jeff Sartor, my brother Lenny and I would spend hours catching air , usually under the watchful eyes of Earl Damon , Mark Rupert and Lisa Woolever. Hard as we tried no one could ever out launch Scott Stillings (Michigan ski industry Icon) for max air time. When I was younger my life long goal was to be an instructor at Mott Mt. with the likes of Mark Rupert, Dick Lake and Dale Reiss and fly off a jump like Scott Stillings. Footnote: Snow Snake had some great hot dog skiers, lead by the great Harry Warner. I had no doubt however, we Mott Mountain punks could take them out any time anywhere (alibi: Snow Snake had better racers and Donuts ).

    I hear about areas closing all the time and I must admit I’m getting a little hardened. However, thinking about Mott Mt. brings a tear with a smile.

    Kelly Palmer still resides at Mott and runs the local Hardware/Auto parts store in Farwell and would be a great source of intel concerning Mott mt

    Brad Miller
    Mott Mt class of 1977
    PSIA-C alpine ed-staff
    TC Central coaching staff

  3. Sheila R. Phillips says:

    I was 16 years old in 1969, when my Aunt Phyllis & Uncle Earl purchased Mott Mt. from Mr. Palmer. When Mott incorporated in the early 1970’s (to purchase the chair lift) my father, My Aunt Arlene & Uncle Ray and 2 very close family friends became share holders. For Christmas 1969 my Aunt Phyllis & Uncle Earl paid for me to have my first ski lesson with Mark Rupert. Mark was a great teacher. My favorite time of the day was when I would ride with Uncle Earl on the Ski-Doo to the top of the main hill to turn the lights off. It was an awesome view of Farwell and the star-lite sky. Aunt Phyllis & Uncle Earl even had my picture in their first brochure. Pretty cool, for a 16 year old. 🙂 I have many fond memories of Mott Mt and my family which I hold dear to my heart. Rest in Peace Aunt Phyllis & Uncle Earl, miss you both.

  4. Steve Hanzek says:

    In the early 70’s we used to take evening ski club buses from Reed City to Mott Mountain. Night skiing was such a blast! Always froze, but didn’t care. Surprisingly, I don’t remember much about the lodge, as we rarely spent any time there. Just up and down the rope tow over to the right, periodically over to the chairlift on the left. But night time rides on the chair were pretty chilly. Great memories of the place, though!

  5. Maryann Hunt says:

    Growing up in Farwell, I spent just about every winter skiing at Mott Mountain. I loved going there, especially at night. Last I knew, the mountain had closed, and an outdoor festival and camp ground was put in its place. 😦
    I will always carry fond memories of Earl and Phylis. They encourage you to have fun, but they also stressed safety. I remember a few times I blurred the line, and Earl chewed me up one side and down the other. A much deserved chewing I might add. LOL

    Maryann Waldron Hunt

  6. Scott Stillings says:

    Bob… I think that is the back of the ill-fated stage when some genius thought Mott Mt. would make a great country western concert venue. Hence Silver Creek. Earl would do a flip. Er, no, he would throw us off the hill for doing a flip. Really enjoy your posts, keep it up. Scott Stillings

  7. Katrina Gross says:

    I grew up in Michigan and my first skiing experience was at Mott Mountain, 1971-73. I was newly married at the time and my husband and I went with a group of his friends, about 3-4 times a season. I remember the tow ropes and the chair lift. I absolutely loved skiing there. It was a small, wonderful place. Now I live in California and have never attempted the congested, expensive skiing out here. Thanks for the memories…

  8. Doug joy says:

    My family started skiing as a family in the early 1960’s at Mott Mountain. As i recall at that time it had 2 rope tows. A shorter beginner one on the right and a longer – maybe a double – going more up the left all the way to the top. We all had heavy leather gloves to survive the rigors of the rope sliding through our hands while getting on the rope. As a small child of 5 or 6 I was not strong enough to hold the rope up if I was the only one on the tow. Thus I would wait for a “grownup” or a big kid to get on first and jump on right after and that way they had to do the hard work of holding the rope up off the ground. Actually, i was not heavy enough to hold the rope down at the top either and i would regularly be lifted off the ground at the top and if i didn’t let go soon enough, trip the “safety” wire at the top bringing the row to a stop!

  9. Linda E. Ludwick says:

    Phyllis and Earl Damon were my country neighbors living right across the road when I was a kid . We lived on State Rd. just outside of Alma, MI. I went skiing there with friends when I was in my twenties. It was a nice place to ski because it was close to home with a short scenic drive on the freeway. I liked the smaller venue as it matched my skiing ability (or lack thereof, Haha!). It always felt cozy and comfy like being at home – while away from home. Good memories! 🙂

  10. Ty Patterson says:

    I literally grew up at Mott. Had my annual season pass and the folks would drop me off in the morning with a bag lunch and I’d ski my days away. I remember all the kids that I would ski with and cause Earl and Phyllis straight up head aches. Which deep down I’d like to believe they enjoyed either way. Mott will always have a place in my heart because I learned what truly made me happy at that place. At 43 living in Colorado I still feeling 8 yrs old every time I get on a lift or a gondola because of growing up on that little bump. But it was our bump and we knew every square inch of that place. If anyone has photos or swag from back in the day I’d love to add it my collection.
    If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.” ~ Warren Miller

    • Jay Mowl says:

      Raised hell on that hill from 1980 till after Earl sold out. Can’t imagine my childhood any other way. Met some of my best friends on that hill.

  11. Bryan Peckinpaugh says:

    I have fond memories of Mott Mountain. My Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Earl were the best hosts. Whether trying to ski as a 9 year old or playing with cousins on the property when they held the family reunion for many years there. I remember when they built the new Lodge with their home on the second floor. It’s sad and disappointing to see the ski lifts removed years ago and change to a concert venue which clearly wasn’t sustainable.

  12. Karl DeBAKER says:

    WOW … How did I every stubble on this website, I used to hit Mott Mt. all the time from 1975 to 1978, I remember a few of the names that posted above. I left Farwell in 1978 and joined the Navy, after a 4-year stint I settled out west in Washington state. If I remember correctly Mott had a 300 foot vertical drop and one night Brad Miller and I timed each other from top to bottom, which only took 19 seconds. Skiing Washington State is a whole different deal with several thousand feet of verticle drop with a decent time of 10 to 25 minutes depending on what run you do and which resort you’re at. Google Stevens Pass, Snoqualime Pass, Mission Ridge, and Mount Baker.

    • Marko Raich says:

      Karl I think I skied with you and graduated with you from Farwell. FYI, got my first case of frostbite on Mott Mountain. Marko Raich

      • Karl DeBaker says:

        LOL … I remember you Marko, I have a coupe tiny chunks missing on the tops of my ears from frostbite.

  13. Rodney Grover says:

    The Grover’s, all of us had the privilege of calling Mott home in the winter. My grandfather and grandmother built a small two bedroom cottage on Lake 13 and bought season passes for all 9 of us each year from 1978 (I was 6) to 82. We learned to ski as a family and carry that tradition on to this day.

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