“I think all of our viewers know that Stowe is (the) home of one of the nation’s preeminent ski areas and one of the oldest ski areas in the United States,” Vermont Historical Society executive director Steve Perkins said. “But what they may not know is that there were tons of ski areas all over Vermont. Almost every community had some sort of ski area.

“So, we’re going to go into the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum and meet with Brian Lindner (of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol), and we’re going to talk a bit about where they were, how to find them and some interesting research.”

“Brian, first of all — just from looking at this incredibly large map here — it may surprise a lot of people just where some of these former ski areas might have been,” Mike Hoey said.

“People driving on Interstate 89, for example, don’t realize that when you go through the cut in the rocks in Waterbury, you’re going right through what used to be a ski area at one time,” Lindner said. “In Plainfield, Goddard College used to have their own ski area, and people drive by it today and it just looks like a wooded hillside. Northfield actually had an amazing ski area with a chairlift, base lodge. There’s almost no hint of it today, but it was connected to Norwich University. It was a significant ski area.”

“Also, out in Underhill — and, I think, quite famously — there was a ski area there,” Perkins added.

“The Underhill Ski Bowl,” Lindner confirmed. “(It was) very, very active up through relatively recent years (the early 1980s).”

Perkins asked, “How did these ski areas start?”

“People don’t seem to realize these days how big skiing was when it started in the 1920s and ’30s, to the point where every local town seemed to organize their own ski club and needed their own ski area,” Lindner replied. “Waterbury had five!”

“To help our viewers a bit, we’re talking about alpine ski areas,” Perkins continued. “Where did alpine skiing start and how did it come to the United States?”

“Well, alpine skiing really starts with Scandinavians and (other) Europeans moving to Vermont, seeing the hills and saying, ‘we can do here what we did at home’,” Lindner answered. “I see a great parallel in the ’20s and ’30s between the excitement of new aviation things (happening and) new skiing things. You can actually go hiking in the woods in a couple of places in Vermont today and in the middle of the forest, you’ll find a ski lift.”

“I know — from previous spots that we’ve done, Mike, around the state and we’ve looked at skiing — the technology that helped drive some of these,” Perkins noted. “Whether it was a rope tow or a lift or a T-bar, Vermonters were creative.”

“They were powered by old 1920s Ford engines and Cadillac engines and (cobbled) together from car parts,” Lindner replied. “Really, some ingenious stuff.”

“Yeah, during an era — as you mentioned, Brian — not just of advancing technology in aviation, but in various forms of ground transportation, too,” Hoey said.

“Absolutely,” Lindner added. “Skiing is an evolving sport; the technology is evolving, new types of lifts — but it all really starts with these lost ski areas. The whole topic started as a term paper with a college student. He wrote it up and it just snowballed from there, and he has a great website, the New England Lost Ski Areas Project.”

“Well, I’ll have to let him know,” Perkins said. “Because the ski area behind my house is not marked!”

“Lost ski areas are continually being discovered,” Lindner said. “This is an ongoing project.”

“And so, in addition to the website, if people want to know more about skiing in Vermont, they can come here, to the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum,” Perkins concluded.

“That’s correct,” Lindner said. “This is a great place to come.”