FARMINGTON – The Ski Museum of Maine will be hosting an Open House on Friday, June 12 to celebrate the opening of its new exhibit entitled “Preserving Theo Johnsen.” The open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited.

Portland’s Theo Johnsen has the claim to fame of writing the first ski book in America. His book, “The Winter Sport of Skeeing,” was published in 1905. The first section of the book has ski history, general information on “skeeing,” and instructions on how to “skee,” complete with photographs, illustrations, and diagrams. Johnsen also manufactured skis, and the second part of the book is his company TAJCO’s catalog of skees, skee accessories, snowshoes, push sleds, foot coverings, and caps.

Johnsen sent his skis to ski shops throughout New England, hoping for strong sales. When the skis didn’t sell well on consignment and were returned, Johnsen decided to make scale models of each ski to sell to the stores. The stores could then sell the full-size skis by taking orders. Unfortunately, his skees were of high price as well as high quality, and the public was not ready. He stopped manufacturing the skees in 1907, and soon closed his company.

Through generous donations from enthused individuals, the Ski Museum was able to purchase six of these rare, beautiful model skis, which you can see and learn more about in this exhibit. Also in the exhibit are TAJCO ads and other memorabilia from the company.

Since opening its doors in 2006, the museum collection has expanded to include many aspect of ski history and Maine skiing and manufacturing in particular. Come and enjoy an evening of history, learning, laughter and refreshments.

There is no charge for this event, although donations are appreciated. The Ski Museum of Maine is located at 109 Church St., just off Main St. in downtown Farmington.

Museum hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, please call Megan at 491-5481 or visit www.skimuseumofmaine.org.


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