The Hampshire Country School was a small rope tow ski area that operated at two different locations the School. Open from the early 1960's through 1980, many students learned to ski here. The area closed due to increasing safety expectations and a lack of natural snowfall.
William Dickerman, the Admissions Director for the School, wrote us with much more extensive information:
"Our first rope tow and ski trails were built
in the early 1960s on a small hill we now call Blueberry Hill. One of our
students at the time who was very involved in the project was Temple Grandin,
who is now internationally known for her work in livestock management and also
In 1970 (I think), that ski area was replaced by a 300 foot rope tow and ski area on a slope in our forest. The power was supplied by an old car mounted off the ground in a small shed at the top of the hill. The tow rope went through a series of pulleys and across the car's wheels. To operate it, one sat in the driver's seat, started the motor, and put it in gear, just as if one were driving the car. Then, as the drive wheels turned, the rope, which was pulled tightly around the wheels, moved.
Since the ski area was well into the woods, someone had to regularly drag in a 5 gallon can of gasoline on a toboggan to operate the car. Then, before anyone was allowed to ski, everyone had to help pack the snow, sidestepping with skis up the trails two or three times.
The teacher in charge of the ski program and setting up the ski areas was Bill Davis. He was an early ski enthusiast and had previously been involved with establishing the Sunapee ski area.
Our ski area operated until 1980. By that time, less snow was falling each winter and the rocks and boulders along the trail were harder to cover. Safety expectations for ski areas were changing (e.g., needing more run-out space at the bottom) and insurance costs were rising. We stopped using our area and replaced skiing at home with regular trips to Mount Sunapee."
Additional notes from Jeremy: According to the 1969 New Hampshire Winter Holidays Guide, the Hampshire Country School had a 300' rope tow for students. The school continues to operate but it is on private property, so please do not attempt to visit the former ski slope.
If you remember this ski area and have more info, just let us know.
Last updated: March 20, 2013
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