Haystack and Hartland Mountain Ski Areas In Litchfield County and West Peak in Meriden never realized their potential as ski resorts for various reasons.
Published by the Windsor Patch
By Philip R. Devlin
January 19, 2012
As a decade, the 1930s is readily associated with a number of disturbing and negative events. It was the decade in which World War II began — a war which would ultimately claim upwards of 70 million lives. It was also the decade of the Great Depression — a time when the unemployment rate hovered around 25 percent and economic stagnation was a fact of life. But there were also a number of positive developments in the 1930s, especially if you were a fan of winter recreation — particularly downhill skiing.
The third winter Olympic games were held at Lake Placid, NY, in 1932. Lowell Thomas’s famous radio narration of the Olympic events boosted their popularity. In that same year, the first ever rope tow appeared in North America in Shawbridge, Quebec. It was run by an automobile engine!
Downhill skiing events then became part of the Olympic games in 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany. In addition, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) — part of FDR’s New Deal — began cutting trails for skiing in the mountains of the Northeast in 1933. Suicide Six in Woodstock, VT, opened the nation’s first rope tow in 1936, thus beginning the split between resort skiing and backcountry skiing. W. Averell Harriman, chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad, started the Sun Valley Ski Resort in Ketchum, Idaho, in that same year. A definite trend toward developing ski resorts developed in the 1930s — a trend that would soon affect Connecticut.
See the rest of the story on the Windsor Patch at: http://windsor.patch.com/articles/connecticut-s-cancelled-ski-areas-a-history-c5e101d5