Tag Archives: Connecticut

Lost Ski Area: Laurel Hill, Winsted, CT

laurel hill ski tow winsted connecticut lost ski areaxlaurel hill ski tow winsted connecticut lost ski area

Found yesterday in The Lure of the Litchfield Hills magazine, December 1949.

Laurel Hill was established in 1941 as Silver Streak Ski Tow.  Find out more about this northwestern Connecticut lost ski area at NELSAP.

Posted in Ski, Ski Areas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Powder Ridge: The Festival That Never Was

powder ridge ski area music festival concert 1970 connecticutAmong other things, I am amused to learn that the ski lodge roof was intended to serve as the concert stage!

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski charilift leonard freedA very different use of a Hall double chairlift.  Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski charilift  freedFestival View. Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski area leonard freed Life at Powder Ridge. Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder ridge festival connecticut 1970 ski leonard freed Campsite at the Powder Ridge Rock Festival.  Photo by Leonard Freed.

powder hill ski area middlefield connecticut scofieldPOWDER HILL SKI AREA  Middlefield, Connecticut – Home of Early Bird Skiing. 3 Chair Lifts, 2 T-Bars, Tows, Ski School, Night Skiing, Snow Making, Steak House and Cocktail Lounge. Overnight Lodging. Pre-1970 postcard, photo by Clifford Scofield.

A couple weeks ago at Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market, I came across this reproduction concert poster for the ill-fated 1970 music festival at Powder Ridge Ski Area in Middlefield, Connecticut.  I was surprised and delighted with the find and also thought it would make for a varied yet quick blog post.  Well, I was wrong about the quick part – I am totally lost in what was intended to be cursory research of this event.

Growing up just a couple towns away from Powder Ridge, the festival has always been a bit of local lore but I never stopped to find out the specifics.  To me, it was primarily of interest because of the ski area venue.  I am very late to realize, nearly 44 years after the fact, that this disaster of a festival was national news.

The short version – in the wake of Woodstock, the three days of music at Powder Ridge was poised to be the next big festival — a roster of top billed acts helped sell 100,000 $20 tickets — just days before the start of the festival, the concerned residents of tiny Middlefield fought for a court injunction to stop the festival — headlining acts never arrived (save for one, Melanie Safka) but thousands of fans did despite attempts by the state police and town to turn away attendees — the most common estimate seems to be that 30,000 people came, camped and essentially drugged away the music-less days at Powder Ridge – drug use was rampant and not the happy, peaceable marijuana high of Woodstock but a more angry and dangerous version with unprecedented numbers of bad trips (~ 50 people an hour) thanks to free-flowing tainted hallucinogens – lack of food, utilities and bathroom facilities added to the chaos.

A simple Internet search reveals no shortage of articles, accounts, photos and video of the Powder Ridge Festival.  I am captivated by the photos by Leonard Freed, an esteemed photojournalist who spent most of his career documenting civil rights and social issues.  Adding a wonderful layer to his stunning images and talent is that his wife, Brigitte, was his photo developer – an art itself.  I love the practical and romantic dynamics of creative spouse partnerships – go team!  (Click here for a lovely NYT article about the couple.)  In keeping with the ski theme of this blog, I have selected photos featuring chairlifts – but please follow these links to see a wider presentation of Freed’s extraordinary portfolio and documentation of this event which now resides at The Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, only a few miles away from the festival site.

As for Powder Ridge, the ski area shut down in 2007 but is currently in the process of rebuilding and resuming operations to become a year-round mountain park and resort.

If any readers attended this festival or have anecdotes, please write in as a comment to share!

Posted in Art & Graphics, Lifestyle, Ski Areas, Treasure Hunting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

AlpineStyle56 on Instagram

ski austria hauser kaibling rossignol stag zurich salzburg deer valleymountain bike forest woods green tree hinman nassaheganski planai schladming austria chairlift snake vintage alaska graphics tableclothnight mountain bike ride warrens way ski race trail burke vermontvintage german germany matchbooks tram zugspitze eibseevintage ski label paris maine elephants trunk flea market antlersmountain fun license plate chairlift fog burke vermontted ligety mikaela shiffrin usa us ski team racersburke bear logo mascot vintage burke vermont inn mountain view barn

Instagram is visual, inspiring, fast and fun! The simplicity and ease of Instagram allows me to publish new images every day.  And being a mobile app, it is easy to post on-the-go.  I am excited to have a means to post quickly and more frequently to supplement the AlpineStyle56 blog with additional relevant content.

Follow AlpineStyle56 on Instagram via user name alpinestyle56.  From the alpinestyle56.com blog home page, monitor the feed in the right side column, click to enlarge any photo; or press the Instagram icon under Follow to view in desktop version.  Thanks for following!

Posted in Art & Graphics, Bike, Ski, Ski Areas, Travel, Treasure Hunting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mohawk Mountain: Opening Day

mohawk mountain connecticut ski area 1957 vintage

Nice job, Mohawk!  The Connecticut ski area kicked off the 2013-14 season on Thanksgiving weekend.  Here is a look back at Mohawk from January 1957.  Signage reads as follows:

MOHAWK MOUNTAIN TRAIL SYSTEM  An arrangement of ten varied trails   Nine tows and four slopes   Skiing for novice to expert   Trails average ¾ mile.

NOTICE   We have done our best to provide safe equipment & smooth skiing areas for you   But all skiers must agree in advance of skiing to use area and equipment entirely at their own risk

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING   Trails start from summit – good views   Inquire for special guided trips   SPLIT ROCK – 1 ¾  mile level and downhill   TOWER TRAIL – 4 miles up and downhill   DO NOT TOUR ALONE

Posted in Ski, Ski Areas, Vintage Style | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lost Ski Area: Sweetheart Mountain

sweetheart hill canton ski club rope townxsweetheart mountain ski hill collinsville connecticutxski rope tow sweetheart mountain collinsville xrope tow ski sweetheart hill lost ski areaxsweetheart hill ski area canton collinsvillexsweetheart mountain hiking trails canton land trust ski

A busted mountain bike and the ensuing trip to a different bike shop resulted in an impromptu hike around Sweetheart Mountain in the Collinsville village of Canton, Connecticut.  The Canton Ski Club operated this ski area from 1948 to 1974/75.  Two rope tows and lights serviced the 400’ vertical – including some surprisingly steep terrain.  The little ski area claimed as many as 600 members, a dozen ski patrollers and a record 50 operating days in a single season.

The Canton Land Conservation Trust now owns the property and maintains hiking trails open to the public. Because so many rusty remnants of this former ski area are still hiding out in the woods – this short hike was a fun and nostalgic exploration.

Please visit the NELSAP (New England Lost Ski Areas Project) web site for more detailed information and photos.  And click to watch a video tour of skiing this lost area.

Posted in Ski, Ski Areas | Tagged , | 2 Comments