What follows is an interesting article featured in the February 1959 edition of the Rangeley Highlander. It highlights some of the early planning and work that was being done on Saddleback. This piece brought back fond memories of wooden ‘Northland’ skis with ‘Cubco’ bindings, bamboo ski poles with leather baskets and the smell of damp wool drying by the fire. It also stirred great memories of a deep powder day on Golden Smelt. And those happy memories inspire this skier ton give a nod of thanks to the early pioneers of Saddleback and all their hard work that helped make the great place that Saddleback is today…possible. Think Snow and Happy Trails!

Saddleback Ski Corp. Asks Bids on Ski Lift

The Rangeley Saddleback Corporation ski area on Saddleback reached another milestone in the development of the Rangeley Lakes region. The specifications have gone out to eleven manufacturers of ski lifts for bids on the 4900-foot T-bar or chair ski lift on what is known as “C” lift line. This will provide 1300 feet of vertical rise with the top terminal at 3700 ft elev. In the plans of Sno-Engineering Inc., the engineering company retained to supervise the technical development of the ski-area, this is the first phase in the development of Saddleback Mountain. The specifications included profile maps of the mountain laid out on graph paper over 30 feet long and 3 feet wide showing the exact contour of the northwest face of Saddleback Mountain. The bids are expected to be in by April 1st. By April 15th the contract will be let out for the construction of the ski lift. The plans as laid out by Sel Hannah of Sno-Engineering include, the first phase, 4 major ski trails and one huge open slope running directly down to the ski lodge. According to Sel Hannah, the facilities for the great open slope reaching to the top of the mountain on Saddleback make it a unique and highly desirable type of development. The area available for development is so great that there is room for not only one open slope but two. The second open slope will accompany the opening of the second phase of the development when a double chair lift to the very peak of the mountain is installed and four more trails are added. This will create one of the largest developments concentrated, in one area in the east. Sale of stock according to Harland Kidder, President of the Corporation, the development plan of the mountain is now complete and the board of Directors of the corporation is now ready to launch an intensive stock selling drive. This drive to sell stock is expected to get under way early in February. With shares at a par value of $10.00, it is expected that a great number of people will be shareholders in the Rangeley-Saddleback Corporation. However, one feature of the sale of stock that is of interest to many is the presentation of a LIFE-TIME PASS to the ski lifts to every purchaser of a $1000 block of shares. At present there are 7 such lifetime passes in existence. There are now over 380 stockholders in the corporation.


In a recent report to the Board of Directors by Sel Hannah, he gives some additional information as to design. All aspects of the ski development will be constructed in strict accordance with the Safety Code recently adopted by the State of New Hampshire. The Ski Lodge will be 80 feet by 40 feet, and the parking space will comprise 5 acres. A “hotel type” ski lift will be installed for the use of beginners and for the ski school. This will be at one side to keep the beginners safely out of the wav of the fast skiers

on the open slopes. Sel Hannah reports that the main emphasis of the first phase of development is on terrain for the intermediate skier. However, there will be some expert terrain. He sees the correct course of action for Rangeley to be the creation of a Ski Resort for family and mid-week skiers. This will mean the stressing of the Rangeley Region as a winter vacation area. It will entail the development of extensive publicity and the “package plan” type accommodations to appeal to large groups of winter vacationers.

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