Putney School at
Elm Lea Farm
(Ski Tow Hill)
Putney, VT
1936-Early 1980's

Well, I was lacking general information on this site until I recently contacted the Putney School. Thankfully, the school's Director of Alumni Affairs, Harriet Rogers, told and sent me lots of information. The following best describes the area and comes directly from her.

"Yes, indeed, there was a ski area here, small and used almost exclusively by Putney School students. There was a rope tow and a ski jump, located on a hill to the south of the main campus of the school.  It may have been installed as early as the first year of the school, 1935-36, and was certainly in operation by 1940.  Through at least the 40s and 50s, all students with very few exceptions were required to ski -- it was what you did in the afternoon in the wintertime.  The more proficient taught the beginners, and by late February the whole school was in more or less good enough shape to visit a major ski area such as Bromley or Stowe. I don't know when this practice ended, but I think the ski tow functioned into the early 80s, passing out of use because of lack of interest in such a small hill.  Putney has always been a major site for Nordic skiing, largely due to the efforts of Johnny Caldwell '46, who (literally!) wrote the book on cross country skiing, and who taught math here and coached skiing from the mid-50s until his retirement in 1989.  There still is a hardy core of cross-country skiers among the student population, ably coached by Joe Holland, who coincidentally also teaches math!  There is an excellent network of well-maintained trails.  Interscholastic ski meets are held here several times a winter, and many people from the surrounding communities use the trails for family skiing."

Along with this info came the 5 great photos that appear on this site. All photos are courtesy of the Putney School.

The following is a summary from various sources regarding the school.

1939
(Skier's Guide to New England)
Open slopes and 600 foot tow
14 degree slope
25 meter jump

A view from the top around 1940.

1939
(Ski Trails in the East and How to Find Them)
Putney has one ski trail and a 600 foot tow near Putney School, 3 miles west of the village. The road is marked with Putney School signs, and is kept open during the winter. It leads to the foot of the trail, but no parking space is available. Taxi service from the village may be obtained. Surrounding hills offer a variety of slopes and runs, but the trail should not be attempted by the novice. Various ski events and an informal slalom for guest on New Year's are held each winter by the Putney School.

1942
(Complete Skier's Guide)
Open slopes and tow at Elm Lea Farm
25 meter jump
XC trails

The 25 meter jump at Putney.

And a skier taking off!

1947-1948
(VT Life Article)
This was called the Putney Area

A ski school class in the 1940's

1958
(Vermont Life Article, by Murray Hoyt)
"The Putney School has an area open to the public a few miles from Brattleboro in the same area."

1967
(Colorado Skier)
The Putney School used this area for racing on this year.

1970
(Vermont Ski Industry Report)
Putney School rope tow,   620 long

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