Mid-Atlantic Lost Ski Areas:
Zippo Ski Slope
|Historical Overview - reported by M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor|
Robert Williams describes a ski area known as “Zippo Ski Slope” that may have been affiliated with George Blaisdell, the founder of lighter manufacturer Zippo Manufacturing. Robert writes:
- “I became aware recently of another lost ski area in Bradford PA while doing some research. The area was known as ‘Zippo Ski Slope’ and operated from 1945 until ‘the early 70’s’. Various accounts credit George Blaisdell, the founder of Zippo Manufacturing as being the driving force behind the area. There isn’t much data on the area, although an image shows a single slope with what appears to be a rope tow or poma. Several accounts mention that the area was located in Callahan Park, just outside the city. Zippo even manufactured a commemorative lighter, shown on this web page — scroll down about halfway to see the lighter and an image of the ski slope.”
Bill O’Hara has also provided some information on the Zippo Ski Slope. A book on the Zippo Company history references the slope; excerpts can be read on Google Books by clicking here.
If you have any additional information about this ski area, please contact DCSki's Editor, or add your comments by scrolling below. To view historical information about other lost ski areas in the Mid-Atlantic region, click here. Note that DCSki's Lost Ski Areas section contains recollections pieced together by DCSki readers. We try to continually develop a clearer and more accurate picture of closed ski areas, but understand that some of the details reported on this page may be inaccurate.
The views and opinions expressed in DCSki Article Comments are strictly those of the comment authors and have not been reviewed or approved by DCSki. If you believe a comment is inaccurate or inappropriate, please contact DCSki's Editor.
Comments on Zippo Ski Slope - posted by kevin
May 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm
excellent find! looks like a good historical area... hope some folks have more info on this one
Comments on Zippo Ski Slope - posted by Bruce Witzenburg
August 28, 2010 at 3:15 am
Actually - I just did a few searches for the slope and while there is some additional information about it on the web.
It was indeed owned and operated by Blaisdell and it was to provide entertainment to the town of Bradford, Pennsylvania where the zippo factory was located.
There's also a book on Amazon.com that mentions the slope and may have pictures. If anyone has a copy it may help in the search for more information (although the information is copyright so be careful in how you post)
Link to book:
Also - Here's the google maps terrain of the park and surrounding areas. I'm guessing that NE facing slope with the retention pool at the bottom would be a prime area for someone to check out who's in the area.
Looks like the peak elevation could have been as high as 2260' and base around 1780' so the vertical could have been as high as 500' which would be huge for the 40s! That's only if they utilized the full height though.
Comments on Zippo Ski Slope - posted by Terry Johnson
November 26, 2010 at 6:28 pm
I learned to ski on the Zippo Ski Slope back in the 60's. As I remember it, it was very steep with lots of moguls. The rope tow did go all the way to the top of the mountain, of course. I cannot say whether or not it was a 500' vertical, but, for a young boy, it was plenty big. It was well lit and we spent plenty of nights on the ski slope instead of doing homework. A local guy named Max Kohler, I believe, operated the slope most weekends and evenings. And I think there was a smaller adjacent slope with a poma lift, but that did not go to the top. I may be getting that confused with another ski area over at Allegheny State Park though. There was a small lodge at the bottom where you could warm up to a fire and buy hot chocolate or other snacks. The slope was near Callahan Park, where the community pool still is. I don't know when the area ceased operation, but I graduated from Bradford High in '67 and that was probably the last I did any skiing there.
Comments on Zippo Ski Slope - posted by Susan Kohler MacDonald
September 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Zippo Ski Slope was run by volunteers, my father, Max Kohler was one who spent many hours helping to keep the slope running and provide affordable skiing for Bradfordians. Other volunteers I remember are Al Kohler (my uncle), Paul Abernathy, Reed McFadden, and Alan Jones. The slope was the learning ground for many good skiers; if you could ski Zippo you would do well on other more groomed and lesser elevation slopes. My brother, John was a champion racer in the 60's and is still active in skiing. He is a full time instructor at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville. The area closed in the early 70's and was missed as a good local recreation area.
Another Lost Ski Area - posted by Dennis Dahlmann
February 27 at 2:16 am
I was poking around on Goggle Maps and I found a Lost Ski Area that is not on your list. Checkout The Cove at Green Mountain to see if I am right. This is now a summer resort located several miles WSW from Eagle Rock near Hazelton, PA. There appears to be 10 slopes on a smallish vertical. I have no idea what the original name of the ski area is, but the road at the base area is titled Cove Lane.
Comments on Zippo Ski Slope - posted by GGNagy
February 27 at 11:23 am
Thanks, Dennis. It certainly looks like 5-6 slopes plus a lift line, and shed at the base of the lift line. I have written the village association to see if they have any more information or history. possibly 380 in elevation.
Comments on Zippo Ski Slope - posted by Jim
February 27 at 12:18 pm
Looks like one that never made it to operational.
Check out the street names on Google Maps, all ski area or slope names.
The 1992 historical map on Google earth shows what appears to be a base lodge that is gone by the 2005 photo. You can make out the (proposed) lift line, and it appears there are base pads for the lift, but no lift infrastructure can be seen.
Nothing on the topo.
Comments on Zippo Ski Slope - posted by GGNagy
February 27 at 12:42 pm
I created a thread for the cove at green mounting in the lost ski areas section of the forum. http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubbshowflat&Number70394
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