Originally we had just this little tidbit of info from John Kyle, on this ski area that operated in Peabody.
"There was a ski area next to Rt.128 in Peabody MA called Pages Hill. It had only one rope tow and was in use in the late 1950's and early sixty's. There is an electronics company on the site at this time."
But then, a visit to the New
England Ski Museum yielded a brochure! Here are the details from it
(all photos from the Ski Museum):
|*Two rope tows-for beginners and experts
*A variety of interesting trails and two slopes
*Modern snow making equipment
*Night skiing with "scientifically designed" lighting system
*A toboggan run separated from the ski trails
*A skating rink with lighting for night skating
*A rental and repair shop
Here's the trail map...fairly big for eastern Massachusetts!
Notice the wide slopes, but narrow trails
* A public address system with "alpine music" background
*Safe and pleasant skiing on our groomed slopes policed by our radio controlled ski patrol
*All this means guaranteed skiing and fun for your family
*Page Hill operates 7 days a week: 9am to 1030 pm, night skiing 630 to 1030pm.
|Here's how to get to Page Hill.||
|Here's what the area looks like today from above....where is it? The electronics company has built on top of the area...essentially removing all traces of the area. Compare this to the trail map above. What a shame....a truly lost area, for one would never guess that this one ever existed.|
John Brady checked out this area in the spring of 2002 and provided the following pictures and information:
|I remember Page Hill Ski Area quite well. It was immediately off Rt. 128 on Forest St. There used to be a stoplight on Rt. 128 there! The exit and the stop light have long since been removed, and the back end of an industrial park now occupies the somewhat flattened land where the area was located. The current Forest St. exit off Rt. 128 leads to the other (southern) side of the offending industrial park. I know I skied there in 1965. That is the year my brother was a freshman at a Pharmacy College. He applied to be on the Ski Patrol. They immediately made him Ski Patrol Director. The area was operated by a fellow named Wally, and ran for only for a few years. I remember the brochure vividly. The joke among my young friends was that the Patrol was radio controlled.....that was the only way Wally could control them.||
There was one line of telephone poles running up the middle of the area with a rope tow on each side of the poles. The ropes entered the plywood sided base lodge through a slit in the wall where they were powered by electric motors. There was night skiing.....I was in the sixth grade and allowed to go there every night after my homework was finished. I recall that my season pass cost my father "35 bucks", a whopping sum of money at that time. The area afforded great views of the lights of the North Shore Shopping Center to the north.
|To the skiers right of the tows was the main slope. I recall it as being about 800 feet long of consistent blue square pitch. There was a gladed area to the right of this slope. We didn't go there much at night. The Ski Patrol had us kids half convinced that wild boars lived out there. The slope to the skiers left of the tows (near Rt. 128) was not well graded and seldom used. I don't think the skating rink or the toboggan run were ever put into use.....mainly figments of the owner's imagination. Page Hill did have snowmaking. One night the person in charge of moving the guns fell asleep and made a huge mound of snow. We kids quickly turned it into a jump. Nobody had figured out the technique of making "whales" and allowing the resultant snow to dry out before spreading it around with Cats back then.|
|Willy Kalinuk who currently runs Ski Works Ski Shop on Rt. 16 in Ossippee, NH had just become certified as an instructor, and he was sort of a guest head instructor in a loosely organized Ski School. I couldn't really afford lessons. I learned by watching these guys give lessons and ski, not realizing at the time that watching movement patterns is a primary learning path for most kids anyway. Some of us tried racing with the help of the Snow Chasers Ski Club from Lynn. We'd scrounge up pieces of bamboo poles for practice, until the patrol would declare us a nuisance and send us packing.||
Another vivid memory I have is that of standing in the lift line with a friend on a Saturday afternoon. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had just been declared, and President Johnson had ordered the bombing North Viet Nam. I asked my friend if he thought this was a good idea. Consistent with the prevailing views of that time, he thought I was nuts for even questioning the need for the offensive. I admit, I agreed with him. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I'd be happy to hear from anyone who skied Page Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another NELSAP remembers this area and the reason why it closed:
BScalzillo: I can tell you that Page Hill in Peabody was a short but steep hill with very little stopping room at the bottom....if you didn't know how to stop you could literally go in to the street. I don't remember much more than that other than near or after it stopped operating someone stole a Peabody police car, went to the top of the hill and let it go (no one it the car) down the hill and through the base lodge....that ended the area for good.
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