Where? When? What?

This week’s Mystery Glimpse is a challenge. Major hint: The identity of the magnificent hotel can be found on the website of the Maine Ski and Snowboard Museum. Spend some time there browsing around and consider supporting the Museum and its mission. If you know where, when and what this is a picture of—or when you find the answer—comment below in Leave A Reply.

Last Week

Some astute SeniorsSkiing.com readers really know their skiing history.  There were many correct comments.

This is indeed, the famous first rope tow in the US erected in 1934 on the Gilbert dairy farm in Woodstock, VT. That’s a Model T Ford providing the uphill energy. The 900-foot tow was copied from the rope tow erected a year earlier in Quebec. The Model T had enough power to haul five skiers at a time.  The rope tow was a feature of the White Cupboard Inn for guests and locals.  Eventually the tow became the Woodstock Ski Tow and charged $1 a day for tickets. It closed in 1952, operating for 18 winters.

Two land trusts were collaborating with new landowners to maintain an easement to the historic ski hill and re-establish part of the old ski run, renovate the still standing warming hut, and cut hiking trails linking to the Appalachian Trail. Ski people love nostalgia.

We’d like to thank Skiing History Magazine and the International Ski History Association for allowing us to use these photos. 

The old Model T can be seen at the head of the lift line. Credit: Ski History.




  1. Scott Andrews says:

    The pic is a composite. The foreground figures are cut out of one photo and literally pasted on top of the background photo . The background depicts the Mansion House, which was one of three hotels on Poland Spring resort, which promoted skiing in the 1920s. It is one of a series of wonderful pix that were used by the resort to promote skiing and other winter sports.

    The photo belongs to the Androscoggin Historical Society. I scanned it — and the best of the rest — digitally in 2008 for use by the ski museum with the okay of the Society.

  2. Andrew Dennison says:

    My Dad and his college buddies were among the first to ski at Gilbert’s Hill. Later, as kids, we would ski over from Suicide Six and Dad would regale us about the hold-on-for-your-life ride up the rope tow.

  3. Yup, it’s Poland Spring. Somewhere we have a photo of a sunset reflected in the windows of the old hotel, blazing red in every window. A week later, it burned and the blazes were real.

  4. The grand hotel at Poland Spring.

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