Valley Ski and Outing Club
History ~ Historical Photos ~ Memories~ 2011 Photos
Many thanks to Larry Wilke who contributed many photos, past and present of this lost ski area, along with its history!
According to Larry, "The Mohawk Ski and Outing Club was founded in 1939, with the founding members being listed as Dick Folts and Rita Roark. Shortly afterDoug Deffendorf and Charlie Cassidone built the #1 Tow off Robinson Road [This will be a future NELSAP entry] as a commercial venture but sold it to the MVSOC in the mid-50's. That property changed hands so we put the equipment in John Rugge's father's barn until the 50 acres was purchased that same summer ('60-'61). Al Salmon ran a restaurant at Mahaqua Farms (the site of the first tow) so the Club might have skied there in the pasture like so many others did where there was an open hill. The Club was very active when we joined in 1956 and regularly organized Sunday "Targets" to places like and Speculator.
This property is located on Rt. 169 3.6 miles east of Rt. 28 from the village of Mohawk. The mortgage was paid off by running Square Dances in the local villages and skiing was limited to paid members and guests. In a few years we built #2 tow from scratch on a more gentle hill and a comfortable chalet. The slopes were lighted and available 24/7 to any of the 75 families. All this was done by volunteer club members and the highest yearly membership per family was $55.00. Insurance rates had risen beyond our reach by the early 1980's and the area was sold in 1985."
Today, the area is still somewhat open but is on private property. Remnants of both lifts and the lodge remain standing.
Lifts and Slopes
The following photos are courtesy of Larry Wilke. Please click on each for a larger version.
|A 1962 view of the #1 Tow from the base. The vertical was approximately 90'||Riding the rope tow, 1962, note the race course setup next to the tow, and the original lodge in the background.||View of the slope and surrounding terrain, 1962.|
|A lack of snow didn't stop these young skiers in 1962!||A 1970 view of the ski area.|
|A view of the lodge and the #1 Tow, 1962.||Inside the lodge, 1970.||Ski Day outside the lodge, 1971.||Addition onto the lodge, 1972.|
Events and Members
|July 6, 1964 - the mortage is burned!||Members enjoying lunch, 1970.||Members outside the lodge, lift in background, 1970.||Outside the lodge, 1971.|
Dan Anderson: I belonged to a club outside of Mohawk NY, (Central Region) where I learned to ski along with one 1980 Olympic contender. The "Mohawk Valley Ski and Outing Club" had a 60 (or so) year history, starting in 1939
Dave Folts: MVSC was where I learned to ski and spent many winter weekends with family and friends. It was a private area, owned and operated by the people who skied there. If memory serves me correct, the annual dues for our family of 6 was $30 / year. It was also assumed we pitched in during several fall cleanup weekends to get the place ready for winter. It had 2 rope tows and a small warming shed with a coal burning stove in the middle. Iím still an avid skier and ski throughout the West, but miss the simplicity of the small areas I knew as a child .
On May 21 Larry Wilke and his wife Sally visited the site of the two rope tows owned and run by theSki and Outing Club (MVSOC) founded in 1939, and took the following photos. Click on each to view a larger version.
|Access road viewed from Rt. 168.||Chalet||#1 Tow house showing slack adjuster poles|
|#1 Tow motor||#1 Tow slack adjuster. Note idler wheel||Overgrown tow path for #1 Tow|
|#2 Tow house||#2 Tow and ski slope||#2 Tow slack take-up|
Last updated: June 20, 2011
If you have additional info/memories, please let us know.
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