|Thanks to a visit to the New
England Ski Museum, NELSAP now has some more information on this ski
area. Here's the cover of the brochure from one of the Mad Hatter's
opening years, likely in the late 1940's. It was located just 1.5 miles
from the center of Danbury.
Skiing was on a 1000' tow around 1950, The slope was 150' wide, 22 degree pitch, with a lower slope of 14 degrees and 500' wide. The lower area provided interesting runs for all classes of skiers.
Night skiing was available under powerful flood lights. Day and night skiing was available during the weekends.
The warming hut had a large center fireplace, with hot drinks and hamburgers.
There is only one additional listing for this area. What happened afterwards? Not sure, likely closed in the 1960's.
Joe May has some information on this ski area: I am just old enough to remember it in action. The head of the ski patrol was Don Taylor of Wolfpit Rd. Bethel, CT. He is my son's boss at the Thunder Ridge Ski Area in Patterson, NY. This is the former Big Birch Ski Area. My son, Tim May is director of snow boarding. The Santinelli family lost control in a foreclosure sale and Bob & Mary Conklin took over as Thunder Ridge. The owners of the Madhatter were Harry Hoyt and Perry Roehm. Mr. Hoyt was an avid skier and had an insurance business in Danbury, Davis & Hoyt Insurance. Tony Hoyt is still there, a son of Harry, and running the insurance agency. Perry Roehm was the president of Barden Bearing, they made the bearings for the Norden Bomb Sight in WW II. Barden is now part of FAG bearing which is a German company and is still in Danbury.
(Eastern Ski Map)
Tow, 2 slopes, 2 trails (novice through intermediate), ski school, ski patrol.
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