Founded in 1945
Wissahickon Ski Club
Several area residents from Logan, Germantown, Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill and Delaware County, some of whom had just come back from World War Two, were recruited in 1945 by Joe Poley and Martin J. Wilburger, to form a club to promote Alpine Skiing. Some of these people had trained in Military Ski Divisions.
The Club met at first in Germantown at the YMCA, then at the Delmar-Morris Apartment Building (near Chelten and Wissahickon Avenues) and still later at a place called the “Old Anchorage” on Kelly Drive as Mr. Wilburger (by then the proprietor of a successful ski shop on Wagner Avenue in the Logan Section) continued to build a local following to enjoy ski activities in the Poconos, New York and Vermont.
By the early 50’s, membership was swelling and interest in a local ski venue grew. Excess farm acreage was first leased from Mrs. Smith and the brush and stump clearing began. Narrow trails were cut first.
The first lift, a rope tow, was powered by a used Model T Ford engine located halfway up the hill. Glycol anti-freeze was so expensive due to military needs that the engine was filled with plain water for each day of use and was drained every night to prevent freeze damage. Later, a re-bored Graham Paige engine salvaged from a racetrack was installed at the bottom of the hill in a dual function engine room/warming shed.
In the late 50’s the land was purchased and the present base lodge was later designed with the input of local architect Treat Arnold and others. Bud Gilbert, Owen Wiliams and friends scoured the landscape for retired utility poles to lengthen the lift line and to start night lighting. Member and PECO lineman Ed Yuengling strung new wires to power lights donated by Owen Williams. Member Bill Franks, an engineer at a Conshohocken Mill, donated the electric motor which replaced the second gas drive engine. Other early contributors and leaders included Bill Taccalozzi, Bill Mellet, Bob Turner, Ed Golden, Hugh Boyd, Mike Sabia, Vince Brady and local attorney Mort Sablosky who helped with our incorporation.
Owen Williams, with friends from the electric company’s boiler division, conceived and built the famous fire bowl and telescoping hood as well as the open grate stair treads. Hugh Boyd and Hiram MacIntosh assisted continuously with trail clearing/driveway plowing and youth/off season activities, respectively. Many couples met at or through the ski area’s activities.
Around 2010, a renewed interest in family and social activity revitalized the club membership. Through dedicated members, significant improvements were made to the lodge and surrounding area. An outdoor deck and massive stone fireplace were built through material donated from local residents and members along with new entrance stairs and paved walkways. The lift towers, cables and mechanical equipment have been completely refurbished to ensure longevity.
Today the club operates as a fully functioning ski hill and social club throughout the year with activities in all seasons. The club also hosts many charitable events for local interests.