KINGFIELD — Winter weather did not deter people from attending the unveiling of a new Ski Museum of Maine exhibit Friday, Dec. 28. In fact, the museum was packed with guests for the opening reception of “Maine Olympians: from the Pine Tree State to the World Stage”.

Tammy Goldfrank, front, listens as her father Clifford Norton, both of Kingfield, explains how skis were tuned in the vintage ski shop display at the Ski Museum of Maine in Kingfield. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

“Maine has had an athlete or coach in every Winter Olympics since 1948,” said Cooper Friend, president of the museum board of directors. “Many other Mainers

have served as officials and technical advisors over the years.”

Maine’s first mark on the winter games was during the 1936 Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkichen, Germany when the former G.H. Bass and Company of Wilton designed, manufactured and provided ski boots for the U.S. Nordic and Alpine Ski teams.

The exhibit features biographies, memorabilia and personal artifacts of Maine individuals, past and present, with ties to the winter games. Included in the exhibit are profiles for Nordic skiers Dan Simoneau of Farmington; Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall of Rumford; Robert Pidacks and Jack Lufkin of Rumford; Charles Akers of Andover; James Miller of Mexico; Marcus Nash of Fryeburg; and Leslie Bancroft-Krichko of Paris.

Alpine athlete Kirsten Clark-Rickenback of Raymond; freestyler Troy Murphy of Bethel; and snowboarder Seth Wescott of Farmington and Carrabassett Valley are also highlighted.


Luba Lowery of Cumberland, who attended Gould Academy and David Chamberlain of Wilton are profiled for their participation in the Paralympic games. Chamberlain served as a guide for visually-impaired Paralympian Kevin Burton of Erie, Colorado in the 2014 cross-country and biathlon events.

Carolyn Anderson LePage of Auburn and Carrabassett Valley looks at Olympic memorabilia at the Ski Museum of Maine in Kingfield on Friday, Dec. 28. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

Coaches Al Merrill of Andover; Greg Poirer of Rumford, and Forest Carey of Kingfield are recognized for their contributions to the Olympic games.

Eric Kankainen of Kingfield served as the Structural Engineer of Record for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Of special note is the volunteerism of the Chisholm Ski Club of Rumford. Its members have volunteered at all three winter games hosted by the United States: Squaw Valley, California in 1960, Lake Placid, New York in 1980, and Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002.

“This is an evolving exhibit and will be updated to include other Mainers who have contributed to the winter Olympics,” said Theresa Shanahan, museum executive director.

Friend said the exhibit was made possible thanks to a matching grant from the Maine Community Foundation King and Jean Cummings Charitable Fund. Cross Insurance is the exhibit’s main sponsor, he said.


“We would also like to thank Dick Keenan for his continued support by providing the museum space to us rent free,” said Friend.

The project was designed by Julia Gray of Riverside Museum Solutions, Orland. “This is one of the most fun projects I’ve ever worked on,” she said. “It was a real privilege and honor to work with this group.”

Karl Anderson, the first Maine skier to represent the United States in an Alpine event, said “We’ve got a great history here. Thank you on behalf of the Olympians that are not here, we appreciate this and we appreciate your continued support.”

Originally from Auburn, Anderson’s family had a winter home in Kingfield and were members of the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club. Anderson competed in the 1976 and 1980 Olympic games.

Anderson and Clifford Norton of Kingfield shared memories of the early days of Sugarloaf, and the Kingfield characters attributed to its history.

Norton fondly recalled helping Amos Winter and the famed “‘Bigelow Boys” as they cut out ski trails, first on Bigelow Mountain and then Sugarloaf in the mid-20th century. After his father became ill, his mother would no longer allow him to take part in “such foolishness” so he watched from the sidelines as the mountain was transformed into a destination resort, he said.


The Ski Museum of Maine was founded in 1995 by a small circle of friends who were members of the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club. The museum’s stationary and traveling exhibits reflect its mission to “celebrate, preserve and share the history and heritage of Maine skiing”.

The Robinson House of the Bethel Historical Society hosted one of the museum’s exhibits last summer, said Shanahan. “Oxford County Skiing History – From Jockey Cap to Jordan Bowl” traced the roots of alpine and Nordic skiing and manufacturing throughout Oxford County.

“The Bethel Historical Society has been very supportive of what we do,” added Peter Weston, vice-president of the museum board of directors.

Weston noted a traveling exhibit, “The Mountains of Maine: Skiing in the Pine Tree State” was on display at the Camden Public Library last fall. The exhibit will be on display at the Ft. Kent Historical Society in 2019.

“We are making an effort to share the history and heritage of Maine skiing throughout the state,” he said.

The museum is located above the Sugarloaf Ski Outlet, 256 Main Street. It is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admittance is free. For more information or to schedule a private tour, visit, call 265-2023, or email

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