Zippo Ski Slope

Bradford, Pennsylvania

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:

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.

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Reader Comments

May 9, 2010
excellent find! looks like a good historical area... hope some folks have more info on this one
Bruce Witzenburg
August 28, 2010
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 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.
Terry Johnson
November 26, 2010
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.
Susan Kohler MacDonald
September 28, 2012
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.
Dennis Dahlmann
February 27, 2013

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.
February 27, 2013
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.
February 27, 2013
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.

Very interesting.

Nothing on the topo.
February 27, 2013
I created a thread for the cove at green mounting in the lost ski areas section of the forum.
December 30, 2015
Member since 12/29/2015 🔗
1 posts

Thank you Susan Kohler MacDonald for reminding me of your dad and other volunteers at the Zippo Ski slope.  As a young boy they were the adults in my life all winter.  The rope tow had to be hung after each session and unhung before it was started.  It seems to me we could ski free if someone offered to climb the hill and unhook the rope and assist in starting.  As a young kid I think the ski fee was $.25 or $7 for the year.  There was a "20 meter" jump on the side of the hill and also trails that entered and exited the slope.  Care had to be taken on these trails not to get hung up in the lines that drove the oil pumps from a central pumping station.  I skied at Zippo from 1950 until 1963 when I left to attend college in Colorado.  What a change the first time I skied where there were chairlifts, T-bars and Poma lifts.  However, Zippo is/was always my home ski hill.  



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