History of the Old Colony Ski Club
The Old Colony Ski Club was originally an informal group of skiers from the Quincy area who skied together locally and traveled to New Hampshire during the years 1937-1940. During 1939 the group decided to buy a ski lodge in New Hampshire and after a diligent search, a typical New England house (167 years old) was acquired in New Hampton, New Hampshire for $1,000 cash in August, 1940. In order to raise the necessary funds, new members were recruited, merchants in the Quincy area were solicited for donations, and several personal loans were obtained from the members. Once the building was obtained and paid for, a philanthropic benefactor (David Cutler of Quincy, now deceased) allowed the Club the use of $1,000 for renovations to the building. During September 1940, the Old Colony Ski Club was incorporated with Charles Bodine as President, a position which he held for many years. After extensive renovations to convert the house from a family dwelling to a ski lodge, the lodge was officially opened New Year’s Day, 1941. The Club thrived for the next two years with 80 to 100 members and then declined somewhat during World War II. In the fall of 1945 the turning point came. Slowly the membership was rebuilt, our benefactor’s estate repaid in full, and in the fall of 1949 the Old Colony Ski Club became solvent.
President Bodine released his burden of responsibility and in token of our gratitude for his efforts in maintaining the organization through the war years, he was voted a lifetime honorary membership in the form of the only charter membership ever granted by the Club. Charles Bodine passed away in 1991.
The Club maintained a membership of 100 and in addition to the many improvements made to the New Hampton lodge, the Club was able to build the treasury to the point where it was decided a newer and larger headquarters was necessary, preferably closer to Cannon Mountain in Franconia. In 1956 a committee was formed to investigate the possibilities of building or buying a lodge and various projects were undertaken to enlarge the treasury. In June 1957, the present lodge was found. At that time it was a commercial inn known as the Daniel Webster Lodge. Groups of members visited the inn in North Woodstock to inspect the premises and then the Club voted to purchase the property. A deposit was then placed on the property, dues were solicited six months in advance, and a down payment of $5,000 was made. A mortgage for the balance was obtained; and as a result of the sale of the New Hampton lodge, the mortgage was immediately reduced by $5,000.
A few necessary repairs and improvements were immediately made, and 1957-1958 saw the Club settled in its new headquarters. In 1958 costly improvements were made, including new bathrooms and shower rooms, for the comfort and convenience of the members. In 1959 Operation Slipnot was established. (Slipnot means “Ski Lodge Improvements Program, Naturally On Time.”) This program included construction of a fieldstone fireplace and the complete remodeling of the first floor.
Since that time, major improvements have been made from time to time including a sprinkler system and alarm for the protection of the members. The exterior walls have been insulated and the roof replaced. The construction of a woodshed and a newly designed upper living room have been completed. The replacement of the underground oil tank and upper parking area grading and drainage improvement continued a long-time program adding to the safety and convenience of the club members and their guests.
In 1967 Old Colony played its part when EICSL was sanctioned to host the first World Cup event in the U.S. that was raced at Cannon Mt. For a week the lodge was used to house the workers and volunteers that were needed to run an event of this caliber. Paul Parker a past president of Old Colony and past president of EICSL was a key factor in getting EICSL sanctioned as the organization to host this World Class event. People were amazed at how well a amateur organization was able to run a race on the World Cup circuit.