From The Stone Age To Today.

The tiny museum in Franconia, New Hampshire is located next to Cannon Mountain’s gondola base, and it’s a wonderland. Even before you enter, you’re intrigued by what you see just outside the door and you ask yourself: “What’s that thing?”

New England Ski Museum is located at the base of Cannon Mt., NH. Credit: Harriet Wallis
New England Ski Museum is located at the base of Cannon Mt., NH. Antique gondola car guards entrance. Credit: Harriet Wallis

The big red boxy thing is one of Cannon’s original tram cars from 1938. “Eeegads,” you say. “They went up the mountain in that?”

2-alg-skisThe sled-looking thing was Cranmore Mountain’s idea of an uphill lift. Skiers sat in the sleigh, and it was hauled uphill on a trestle.

Inside the museum, “We show how skis evolved from the stone age — to a slab of wood with a leather strap — to modern skis,” said Executive Director Jeff Leich.

And exhibits show milestones: the 10th Mountain Division, the founding of the National Ski Patrol, and a display of the funky clothes we wore not so long ago.

The museum’s name is misleading. This wonderful Ski Museum happens to be located in New England, but it covers skiing across the country.

And when you’re all revved up, you come face to face with skiing Mt. Washington’s Tuckerman’s Ravine. It’s New England’s highest peak and is known for having the world’s worst weather. Actually, it’s a photo that covers an entire wall, and you feel like you’re right there. It stirs memories of hiking up the trail for hours. Lugging your skis all the way. Then clobbering up the steep slope to make a run for bragging rights.

This museum is a “must see.”

This photo of Tuckerman's Ravine on Mt Washington occupies an entire wall. Credit: NESM
This photo of Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mt Washington occupies an entire wall.
Credit: NESM

Ski Gifts and Collectibles

The NESM online catalog has something for everyone on your gift list. There are books and posters, jewelry, pottery, pillows, belts, children’s gifts and much more. Images are taken from history and will satisfy any skier’s wish list.

These beautiful pillows are
These beautiful pillows capture the spirit of the sport.  There are many other gift ideas in the NESM catalogue.  Credit: New England Ski Museum

Consider membership

Even if you can’t get to the museum, membership brings you a beefy, quarterly, 24-32 page journal full of archaic photos and stories that will keep you inspired and informed. An individual membership is $35 a year.

For more information and to shop the catalog online, check here.

To read more from Harriet click here for her stories on SkiUtah.



  1. johanna jackson says:

    what an interesting museum and what a huge ravine in the picture. Can’t imagine skiing down THAT!

    • Michael Maginn says:

      That’s Tuckerman’s. It’s a magnet for skiers with much history associated with it. Toni Matt skied down the headwall in the famous Inferno Race. Straight down.

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