“Located on the northern end of Pleasant Mountain, Shawnee Peak is the oldest major ski area in Maine.
Shawnee Peak’s skiing history dates back to 1935, when multiple groups started developing a winter recreation area on the northern slopes of Pleasant Mountain. The Bridgton Lions Club, Bridgton Chamber of Commerce, Bridgton Academy, Portland Ski Club, and Bridgton Civilian Conservation Corps joined together to construct the Wayshego Trail. Laid out by Max Wheildon, Bud Dow, and Clarence Kneeland, the 1.5 mile trail was only the start of what was to come.
In 1937, Bridgton selectmen obtained a Works Progress Administration grant for further development of the ski area. A team of 40 started work, eventually growing to 125. On January 23, 1938, a 1,100 foot rope tow opened, serving lower mountain slopes. The Wayshego Trail was also widened and smoothed for that winter. Other attractions included a ski jump, and cross country skiing. By the time the 1938-39 season rolled around, some $20,000 had been invested in the project.
Likely following the WPA improvements, the Mt. Pleasant Ski Club took charge of improvements. For the 1940-41 season a 300 foot rope tow was added for beginners. Also around this time, the town of Bridgton purchased the land on which the ski area was located. The land was then leased to the Bridgton Chamber of Commerce. Soon thereafter, a group including Russ Haggett formed Pleasant Mountain Corporation and purchased the ski area.”
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on April 24, 2014.
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