History ~ Memories ~ Recent Photos ~ Listings by the Year
NELSAP first heard of this area from "rsandmann", who let us know that the area operated in the 1950's. A check thru some old guidebooks revealed more info. Merrimount was a fairly traditional small area...it had a short tow on a short slope. However, it did offer a snack bar, warming room, instruction, and a skating rink, making it a popular area for sure.
|George Robie has
the full story on this area, and provided NELSAP with many photos. The details:
I can shed some more light on Merrimount Ski area in Hooksett. The hill, lodge and cabins were owned by Burnof and Sally Tebo of Hooksett. They lived in the lodge right on the property. They were assisted by Ronnie and Jean Pfeiffer( Jean was the Tebo's daughter). She and her husband Ron were students at UNH and would come over on the weekends to help out. My father, Lloyd Robie of Hooksett, ran the ski school and was head instructor. He was assisted by Herman Roy of Concord. Ski school classes were offered for three groups, elementary school students, high school students and adults. Many of the adults were students from Mt. Saint Mary's College in Hooksett. Dad had a station wagon and ran a shuttle service between the ski area and the college.
The layout consisted of a slope and three trails. The rope tow, a hand made operation run off a car chassis on a platform at the top of the hill, and one of the trails ( the most difficult of the three )were on the east side of the area. Two trails were located on the west side. I can remember the name of only one of the trails: Sally's Folly, and it meandered quite a way through the woods, actually more like a cross country trail. It ended right behind the lodge. We were far from high tech. The slope and trails were groomed by skis, snowshoes, a bedspring, and sometimes a toboggan. Mattresses were wrapped around some of the trees on the trails as an added safety feature. The area was popular with families because the cabins had kitchens and dinettes, so a family could bring their own food for the weekend and just walk across the parking lot to ski. Sally ran the snack shop and occasionally I helped out in there.
| There was a skating rink formed by diverting water from brickyard brook. The brook ran behind the lodge and cabins and was called brickyard because the foundation of an old brick making plant was out there. The walls of the foundation, at that time about four feet tall, formed the sides of the rink. I spent a heck of a lot of time cleaning off that rink. As I recall the area opened in the late forties, and by the mid fifties the Tebos, Dad and Herman had tired of the schedule. I can't remember exactly when it closed for the first time, but it was about 55 or 56. I
skied there early in high school, then the area sat idle for a year or so and the Tebos rented it to a couple of local fellows who had connections at UNH( I can't remember their names). The goal was to attract the college crowd. It never panned out. In the winter of 1959-60 I was a member of Manchester Central High School Ski team and we were looking for a place to practice, but Merrimount was out because it had closed and was idle. The lodge and cabins are still there as is brickyard brook, but the hill is entirely gone. I mean that literally. It was removed in order to build a new entrance ramp off Route 3A to the Everett
Turnpike, and the new Hackett Hill Road.
(Right - a 3-D view of the former ski area, though there is not much to see. You can see Hackett Hill Road slicing through the former ski area, and the locations of the cabins).
Listings by the Year
|Mid 1940's||Rope tow||Slope||Area opens around this time||George Robie|
|1951||450 foot tow||900 foot slope||Slope floodlit, trail leading into slope. Open weekends and evenings. Snack bar and warming room. Ski Instruction, skating rink, heated camp. Located 1/4 north of Hooksett Center on Rte 3A||1951 Ski NH Guide|
|1953||same||same||Located 8mi north of Manchester of 3A, beginner and expert trails. Tow operates weekends and holidays. Ski instruction, heated cabins, meals.||1953 Ski NH Guide|
|c1956||unknown||unknown||Closes somewhere around this time||George Robie|
Bob Case has some more info: I can remember a small slope in Hooksett on Rte 3a just north of the old Hacket Hill Rd. There were a few cabins there along a small snack bar. It just had a rope tow but was used a lot by us kids.
George Robie took the following photos in September, 2008, showing what is left of the cabins, and the ski area. Please click on each image for the larger version. The captions are from him.
|What was the Merrimount Ski Slope is totally gone, eliminated by the Highway Department to construct a new entrance to the turnpike. The picnic table sits at the bottom of what would have been the hill. The ski tow was on the far left, out of the picture - it too is totally gone.||One trail called Sally's Folly, named after the owner's wife (later in life after her husband had died she married my grandfather) was really m ore like a meandering cross country trail. It terminated behind the lodge. The brush pile in the opening marks the trails end.||This partially filled in area, now covered with brush and weeds, was the old skating rink.|
|The lodge and property sits on the site of an old brickyard, next to Brickyard Brook. A diversion channel was created so water from the brook could be used to flood the area inside the old foundation walls, thereby creating a skating rink.||Merrimount Cottages and Lodge as seen from Route 3A. Grassy area in foreground was the old parking lot.||The lodge at Merrimount Ski Area, Hooksett, as it appears in 2008. In the front door and to the right was the snack back. To the left was the ski shop. Tebos lived in back and upstairs.|
|Merrimount Cottage - families could rent. Note - in the late 1960's or early 70's there was an unsucessful attempt to locate and sustain a NY Yankees farm team in Manchester, NH. The Manchester Yankees players lived in the Merrimount Cottages.||Merrimount rental cottage.||Merrimount Cottage - families could rent.|
Did you ski this area and have more info? If so, let us know!
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