Brooklyn Ski Area
Brooklyn, CT
Before 1964-1978

History    Memories   By The Year    Current Pictures


Karen L. Houle has some great info on this small area:

"The Brooklyn Ski Area was open before 1964. Research from the Windham County Transcript shows it was open in 1964 and possibly earlier. John Paskavitch was owner and operator. In 1964, this ski facility was listed as having a 1,200 foot open slope and a 1,500 foot trail serviced by a 300 foot novice rope tow. An 800 foot intermediate nylon rope tow was new in 1964. Special features included: ample parking; warming cottage; free ski instruction on Saturdays and Sundays; rentals on boots, skis, and poles; and night skiing. On Monday afternoon August 31, 1964 the Brooklyn Ski Area building burned resulting in a $5000 loss."

The area closed around 1978, according to The Colorado Skier.

Karen found some great newspaper clippings showing this area:

A snowfall in early January, 1964 made the area quite popular. From Windham County Transcript dated 1/9/64.

A building at the ski area burns. From the Windham County Transcript dated 9/3/64.


Young skiers learning from owner John Paskavitch. From the Windham County Transcript dated 1/8/70.


Mike Baker wrote up the following excellent memory of Brooklyn:

My friends and I, along with my brother, all worked there. I was 14 years old and that was in 1964. We were, what John” Big Time Pasky” Paskavitch, referred to as his “ski patrol”. His idea of “ski patrol” was five kids willing to work for free skiing. Our jobs were to do whatever he told us to do. After a fresh snowfall we would put our skis on and sidestep up and down that hill packing it all down so Pasky could open for business. Once he was able to open, our job was to make sure any ruts along the rope tows were filled in and kept that way. Also, any bare spots on the hill had to be taken care of. “Can’t have any ruts or bare spots, someone might fall, get hurt, and then I’ll get sued!” We used to hear that one all the time. Once the ruts and bare spots were under control, then, and only then, could we actually ski and perform our idea of “ski patrol, which was going up and down the hill making sure anyone that fell was okay. We also had to make sure everyone was properly spaced apart on the rope tows. If everyone bunched up on the tows the two old cars that powered them, would stall. Pasky would then have to go start them back up. They were very temperamental and it seemed like they hardly ever ran at the same time. When it came time for Pasky to start them, it was a good idea to stay clear of him, especially if it was a real cold morning or if one of them conked out with a good sized crowd on the hill. The woods probably still echo with four letter words. At 14 years old our real idea of “ski patrol” was standing around on our skis trying to look cool for the girls that showed up. But we had better “keep an eye on those ruts and bare spots”.

We worked as Pasky’s “ski patrol” until we got jobs that paid with real money rather than free skiing. We would still show up on Saturday night and Sunday to help him out. Actually, the real reason we’d show up was, that the girls we liked were going to be there. But, Pasky didn’t need to know that.

Brooklyn Ski Area was one of those notorious “upside down” ski hills where you skied downhill from the parking lot. It had a flat start from the top. But Pasky was a smart man. He built a ramp at the top of the hill. It was right behind the tennis courts. It was probably 15 feet high and pitched just enough to get a good running start across that flat spot. Originally, you would have to sidestep up the side of the ramp. When you got to the top you were already facing in the right direction, then you just launched yourself down the front of it. It worked like a charm, especially when it iced up a bit. The ramp was later serviced with a little electric rope tow. That’s where the third rope tow was. There was also a trail that shot off to the right of the hill. It ran through a wooded section and ended up at the bottom of the main slope. Pasky wouldn’t maintain it because he was afraid someone would get hurt and of course, he would get sued. Naturally, we all used it. We would build jumps on it and Pasky would go and knock them down and yell at us. Then we would build them back up again, and so on. I remember him putting a sawhorse at the top of the “forbidden trail” so no one would go down it. It didn’t take us long to realize that when you laid that sawhorse down, with a few pieces of plywood added, it made the framework for a pretty good little jump. He wasn’t too pleased about that either.

Pasky was not only a smart man he was also an incredibly smooth skier. Back in the 60’s, parallel skiing was all the rage. Trying to find someone, nowadays, that can parallel ski would be difficult. I have a friend, one of the “ski patrol”, that mastered it to perfection. The last time we skied together he was still using the technique. People watch him and wonder how he does it. Start to finish, top to bottom, with skis never more than an inch or two apart, making fluid turns all the way down the mountain. I remember reading some where that students of parallel skiing would actually strap their boots together, so their skis would never be more than an inch or two apart, until they mastered the technique. I never really learned how to do it smoothly. I was a stem christie skier. But Pasky was a master of the parallel technique. I can still see and hear him leading a group of skiers down the hill shouting, “down-up-down”, trying to teach them how to do a parallel turn.

Back then the “Godfather” of parallel skiing was Stein Erickson. He was teaching at Waterville Valley  or Sugarbush, one of the two, I’m not sure which one. Pasky had him come down to our “little hill” for an afternoon ski clinic. I’ll bet you didn’t know that. We all got a lesson from the “Great Stein”. Pasky tried to get these big time instructors to come to the hill several times. I think the third time the weather didn’t co-operate and he got stung because nobody showed up for the clinic. That ended that. It cost him big money to get these guys to come down from the big resorts for an afternoon clinic. If no one showed up he lost money. Pasky never liked losing money.

I often thought that I’d like to pull into the parking lot and take a walk around. I’ve always wanted to see if the two old cars were still there, the two that never seem to run at the same time. The way I see it, they still owe me a lot of free skiing.

Craig Baker:

My family built a house in Brooklyn in 1974 which was only a few miles from the Brooklyn Ski Area. I skied there many times as a kid. It was definitely small. If I remember correctly "Pasky" had built a ramp at the bottom of the slope. This wasn't a jump but we would ski down the small slope and then ski up the steep ramp and turn back down it when you neared the top. Perhaps the first 1/4" pipe in ski history! I remember "Pasky" as quite a character and he kept us kids in line pretty well especially on crowded snow days when the local kids would all flock there. The area was only opened sporadically soon after we moved there. I still drive by occasionally as my parents still live in Brooklyn.

Paul Jacey: I skied there in 1975 or 76 when I was 12 or 13.  I remember a couple things that were pretty interesting.  The base lodge was at the top of the hill and in residential house basement.  Cable bindings skis were available for rental.   The rope tow was a bit underpowered and we were encouraged by the owner to let it run through our hands to let it pick up speed.  Needless to say I wore a hole through my gloves.  The other two features were the expert slope was a huge dirt pile that was very steep on one side and there was a big slab-wood ramp at the bottom to catch skiers that didn’t know how to stop.


By the Year:

Year Lifts Trails Other Info Source
1964 300' Novice lift, 800' intermediate lift 1200' open slope, 1500' trail 800' lift was new that year, so area likely opened in 1963 or earlier. Windham County Transcript
Sep 1964 Same Same $5,000 damage to ski area building in fire Windham County Transcript
1973 3 rope tows, 200 skiers per hour capacity 1 trail, no snowmaking, vertical drop 200 feet NW Exposure, operates daily, night skiing, ski shop, snack bar, rentals, warming huts. American technique. Rates - $2.00 weekdays, $1.50 junior, $1.00 nights. Same rates weekends Ski Guide to the Northeast
1978 Unknown Unknown Year approximately closes The Colorado Skier

Recent Pictures:
This 1991 view of the ski area shows the slope still fairly clear. However, more recent Google Earth imagery indicates that the slope has grown in tremendously, and that there is some kind of development or gravel pit at the base of the slope.

Thanks to Jeff Simpson who found this area and took some great pictures! Here are his details:

 Near the base of the old lift.

"After living in Brooklyn, CT for the past year and a half and trying on multiple occasions to locate the lost Brooklyn, Ski area, a tip from King Karl from the NELSAP discussion group gave me the information that I needed. The lost Brooklyn Ski area is now quite grown over and located behind the Brooklyn Tennis Club, about 1 mile North of Route 6. I was able to find numerous lift towers and wheels to support the rope tows as well as a set of lights to light the slope. I'd estimate the vertical drop to be in the 150 foot range, and the slope length at about 100 yards. It's tough to say with how overgrown things currently are if they had the 3 rope tows that were listed, but the slope itself started out with a nice gentle beginner pitch for about 50 yards and then progressed to an intermediate pitch for the last 50 yards or so."
Looking up the main slope. Notice lift tower on right.

The main slope.
A lift tower for the rope tow.

More of the old lift line.

If you remember this area and have more info just let us know.

Last updated: December 31, 2008

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