The board of directors of American Skiing Company, once the biggest ski company in the nation with resorts from Maine to California, announced they would seek to dissolve the company. The ski empire, which included Haystack and Mount Snow, had been built over a relatively short period by Sunday River Ski Area owner Les Otten, but the company’s massive debt service requirements quickly doomed the venture.
The Deerfield Valley News tracked down a giant that experts said had been lurking in the woods of Whitingham since the end of the last ice age. The “Green Mountain Giant,” as it’s known, is a 32-foot-high, 40-foot-long boulder estimated to weigh 3,400 tons. The “glacial erratic” was carried to the site on the massive Laurentide ice sheet and deposited when the glacier receded. According to the Vermont state geologist, it likely originated from somewhere around Mount Holly. The massive rock is considered to be the largest boulder in Vermont, and one of the largest in New England.
15 years ago:
Whitingham dropped their suit against their former treasurer after a private auditor hired by the town confirmed that he had all of the information he needed to conduct a thorough audit of the town’s finances.
Wilmington School Board members agonized over a decision to repair heating and ventilation systems at Wilmington Middle High School. Although the school had a bid of $32,000 for the project, the actual cost to taxpayers would have been doubled under Act 60.
20 years ago:
Wilmington resident Ken Lady was surprised when a woman walked into his Dover office, dropped off a note, and left. Lady read the note only to discover that the woman, Ruth Ann Petroff, was his long-lost daughter. Thirty-two years earlier, Lady and Petroff’s mother went their separate ways, and he never learned that he had a daughter. After reading the note, Lady rushed out to the parking lot only to find that Petroff was gone – later she said she thought Lady would need some time to digest the information. Lady ran back into the office to call the number she left in her note, and wouldn’t rest until he made contact and arranged a longer meeting.
25 years ago:
Southern Vermont residents wondered who created hundreds of stacked stone “sculptures” on the river bank along the West Jamaica Road. One Jamaica resident suggested that the stacks may be the work of “little elves, coming out at night.”
With a permanent workforce of 344 men and three women, the Vermont Agency of Transportation hoped to correct the imbalance by hiring more women for summer projects.
30 years ago:
Mount Snow was digging up their famous outdoor swimming pool. The ground was being cleared and excavated for the foundation and basement of an extension to the main base lodge.
The Federal Communications Commission announced the availability of a new FM frequency to serve the valley, 100.7. The FCC would be taking applications for the station between August 10 and September 8.
35 years ago:
The Mount Snow Region Chamber of Commerce promised the debut of “a dazzling display of fireworks to delight and amaze both young and old” on Baker Field at twilight on July 4.
Blacksmith Hank Wonsey, of West Halifax, was honored as a guest of the New Hampshire Commission on the Arts. Wonsey, who had been a blacksmith at the Hinsdale raceway for many years, was featured in a book on New Hampshire horseshoers.
40 years ago:
The state was preparing to rebuild a section of Route 9 in Searsburg to eliminate a series of steep, sharp turns. A number of fatalities had been recorded on the road, and one state official told the Deerfield Valley News that there had been seven fatalities just since he started working on the project three years earlier. One of the earliest recorded fatalities on the road was marked by a stone monument at the bottom of the mountain, a memorial to Soloman Rich, a 45-year-old Searsburg sawmill owner who was thrown from his wagon and killed instantly on April 19, 1848. The new road would rise in almost a straight line for about three quarters of a mile, and would include a truck lane. On the downward side, a truck escape ramp was built.
45 years ago:
Local farmers complained that it was one of the worst summers for growing most crops in memory thanks to nearly 20 inches of rain and cool, damp weather. Harold Wheeler said his hay crop was almost nonexistent. Neil Priessman Jr., of Dover, said his corn crop was one third or less of what it should be, and other crops had been stunted by the weather as well. Only cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce were doing well. One Wilmington resident noted that his pole beans had rotted in the ground, but the fresh maple saplings he used to stake them out had taken root and sprouted!
Football legend and all-round groovy guy Joe Namath, along with other pro football players, took on the Wilmington All-Stars in a charity softball game. Namath and his fellow football players were at the Sitzmark for his summer football camp.