• Ancient Ski History through the 1700′s

    Ski History from Ancient times through the 1700′s

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  • Longboards to the Olympics

    Take a tour of “A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports” by Author Mark McLaughlin

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  • Story of the 1960 Winter Olympics

    Learn why the 1960 Olympics were a “Snowball’s Chance” told through the book of David C. Antonucci

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  • The Bill Briner Photo Collection

    See the remarkable Olympic Photo Collection of Bill Briner

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  • Best of Tahoe

    Learn about the Tahoe regions Ski Heroes from the 1800′s to Today!

    read more

Another Beautiful Gift from Inger Bisson!

1952 Olympic flags framed -- Bisson gift

The emblem is the New Oslo City Hall overlaid by the Olympic rings, and surrounded by the phrase, “The 6th Winter Olympic Games / Oslo 1952″. This wonderful framed display was donated to the Museum by Inger Bisson who had only recently donated a very rare 1960 Olympic plaque.  America won 4 gold medals in the 1952 winter games including Dick Button’s gold in figure skating, Ken Henry’s gold in speed skating and  Andrea Mead Lawrence’s 2 gold medals in alpine skiing.  The games were memorable also as it was the first time women competed in cross country skiing. If you see Inger skiing, golfing or riding bikes in this area please let her know that the Museum and the entire region is grateful for her gifts!

The Rare Disney Pageantry pin!

Disney pagentry pin

The Museum recently acquired the rare Walt Disney Olympic ceremony pageantry pin attached to the even rarer presentation card (only one we have ever seen!).  Disney not only designed the unique Olympic torch but scripted the very successful Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.  The pageantry pins were given to all those who were lucky enough to be involved in these ceremonies.  At the museum we have several very unique Disney artifacts from the Olympics with more to be displayed shortly.  Walt Disney loved the mountains and spent large parts of his winter skiing in the region.  Like us, he probably watched the skies, waiting for snow!

Museum Co~Founder David C. Antonucci gives another great 1960 Winter Olympic talk!

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If you want to hear a great talk on the 1960 Winter Olympics or go on a walking tour of the site of the Olympics you will have to track down Museum Co-founder David C  Antonucci.  He has been a Lake Tahoe resident for over 40 years and is considered the foremost historian of the 1960 winter games. David is the Author of the premier books about our Olympics – “Snowball’s Chance: The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games Squaw Valley & Lake Tahoe”  and  “The 1960 Winter Olympics (Images of Sports)”.  David is also the author of “Fairest Picture — Mark Twain at Lake Tahoe” following the adventures of Mark Twain at our Lake.  So….if you want to learn more about the 1960 winter Olympics or the history of Mark Twain in the region you can book David for a talk through his website www.tahoefacts.com, email him at: dcantonucci@msn.com or get right to the source and call him directly at  530-525-5410.  Thanks David for all the great teaching – when is the next fun book coming out?

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We were so lucky to have Stacey Rodarte’s 4th grade class from Glenshire Elementary School visit the Museum earlier this year.  Perhaps the best part (other than entertaining our Olympic host Joe Pete Wilson) was reading all of the essays that they had written following their visit.  Thank you Stacey  for teaching and for the Museum visit as nothing is more important than the kids!

More great Barbara Fritschi Morgan Donations!

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  Barbara once again provides the Museum with outstanding memories from the past.  As noted in an earlier post her family was an integral part of the early history of Squaw Valley.   This recent donation includes many rare family pictures of their life in the early days of Squaw Valley. Shown above is a picture of lunchtime on the deck where the group is seen sharing a jug of wine and hamburgers as they take a break from skiing. Robert Fritschi is on the left (crew cut), likely Bobby Huega is in the front.  Irene Fritschi is petting her cat and Skip Sherman has his head down, looking at the cat.  Thanks again Barbara ~ we will catalog these family pictures and prepare them for display soon.  

Inger Bisson visits the Museum and donates a very rare Plaque – Thank you Inger!

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maryann batiste
david c Antonucci
Tahoe museum
ski museum

 This small and rare plaque from undetermined Olympic memorabilia shows the official logo with an engraving of the Norwegian Birkebiners. In the 12th century, the Birkebiners carried the heir on skis to the Norwegian throne on skis to safety across treacherous mountainous terrain. The plaque was a donation from Inger Bisson, the author of the acclaimed novel, Rotar and the Silver Book of Knowledge. Inger continues to search for more donations of rare memorabilia from the 1952 Winter Olympics held in Oslo, Norway.

Generous donation from Erica Hansen! ~ a visiting teacher from Germany

teacher donation

Thank you, Erica, for your generous donation and the appreciative note that you left at the Museum.  As you know, Museum admission is free with donations gladly accepted.  We have had a successful year because of generous donations which will help us move into the fall and winter months.  Your donation, along with the others, gives us more motivation to grow and provide the community and the world with ever increasing resources to help tell our story.  Thanks to Erica, and all who have helped with donations, both material and financial. The posted picture is from Erica’s education card.

Wonderful Barbara Fritschi Morgan donations!

Theo and Dave crop

Barbara Fritschi Morgan donated copies of a number of rare documents associated with the early days of the Squaw Valley Ski Area. Most significant of these were examples of Alex Cushing’s annual letter to stockholders, a brochure and excerpt from a magazine article. Barbara’s parents, Theo and Dave Fritschi (pictured), were among a group of founding investors in the ski area recruited by Wayne Poulsen. Dave Fritschi worked for the Ski Corporation for many years and his daughter Barbara spent summers with him at Lake Tahoe. Barbara assisted her mother in writing a memoir of her early years at the ski area in the book, Powder Perfect.  Barbara generously donated a copy of the book and it is now part of the museum’s Squaw Valley archive and artifact collection.

The New Museum T-Shirts are here!

Museum shirts kids model 2

The new “Know Your History” T-shirts have arrived! A limited supply will be available for purchase at our booth during the “Homewood Days” celebration on July 12.  The  t-shirts will be available soon at the Tahoe Visitor Center located at the “Y” in Tahoe City and in the Boatworks Mall. We will keep you posted on when and where to purchase the shirts.

Homewood Days Festival ~ Come by and say Hello!

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Homewood Days, held on July 12, is a celebration featuring the people, music and outdoor activities which make the West Shore the great place it is. The Museum of Sierra Ski History and 1960 Winter Olympics volunteers will staff a booth with a display of some of the unique ski items and an overview of our ski history. Stop by and chat with the volunteers about the great ski history of the region.  The new Museum T-shirts will be available for purchase at the booth.  In this area it is never off season to think skiing. See you there!

Rahlves~Mancuso display is finally in!

Museum pic 2 rahlves mancuso display

Come by and see the new Museum display featuring the 2010 Vancouver Olympic ski outfit from Daron Rahlves and the 2014 Sochi Olympic ski outfit from Julia Mancuso. We thank them so much for sharing with everyone!

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The two personal Olympic Ski Outfits, generously donated to the museum by Julia Mancuso and Daron Rahlves, are the centerpiece of a new display featuring the two skiers.  Co-founder Maryann Batiste is shown putting the finishing touches on the display which we hope to have placed in the museum the first week of May.  As noted in our prior posts, these are not only two of the greatest athletes of our time but surely the most generous – the Museum cannot thank you enough for your donations and your support!

Wonderful “thoughts” from Billy Kidd spoken at the Museum!

Billy Kidd Museum speech Pic 2014

During the 1960 and 1964 Olympic reunion at the museum, Billy Kidd gave a wonderful speech about the people and events in his life and the importance of ski and Olympic history.  I complimented him afterward on his speech and he said: “you know, Stan, that wasn’t really a speech those are just my thoughts on the great times”. You can see the video of Billy’s thoughts under “Events/Press” link on the “ Event Video” page on this website.  Thanks Billy!

Sugar Bowl brings its rich history to the Museum!

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 Although considered by many as the best ski resort in the Sierras, most people, even the locals, do not know the fascinating history of Sugar Bowl.  Yes, the skiing there is great, but the great importance of Sugar Bowl to the museum lies in its rich history beginning with the pioneer trail that went through the later built ski area; the Snowball Express that brought up skiers beginning at the turn of the century, and all of the celebrities who came for the best skiing and lodging of the time.  The history continues with the formal opening of Sugar Bowl in 1939 with early investors, like Walt Disney, who loved the resort, up through the continuing modernization and growth seen recently when another peak opened to skiers ~ Crows Nest Peak.  The story is wonderful but too detailed for this simple blog. ~~~ We are so excited that Sugar Bowl has formally joined the museum as they have graciously constructed three large display cases giving us a glimpse of their rich history.  Thanks so much to those at Sugar Bowl for their historical contributions to the people of the region and for their hospitality on the slopes!

Power perfect

The museum received a donation of the book “Powder Perfect” by Barbara Fritschi Morgan. The book tells the little known story of the Fritschi Family as avid skiers and early investors in the Squaw Valley Ski Area. The book recounts bootstrapping up a new ski area at the dawn of the modern winter sports era in California. The Fritschi’s were real pioneers in the industry and deserve much credit for the early success of the ski area. The book includes Theodora Fritschi Heric’s reminisces of early ski adventures in the Eastern Sierra near Mammoth and Robert Fritschi’s restoration of Glen Alpine Springs Resort, near Fallen Leaf Lake.  It will be included in our Squaw Valley Ski Area collection and serve as an important resource for future researchers. ~ To purchase a copy of “Powder Perfect” go to the “books” page on this website.

Donation in Memory of Nate Topol

Topol donation

The Topol Family of Tahoe Pines donated two rare Sports Illustrated magazines devoted to coverage of the 1960 Winter Olympics. The donation was made in memory of Nate Topol. These are the kind of things that keep the museum growing and provide further insight into our wonderful ski history past.  We will try to present these magazines in such a way that the stories within the magazine are shown.  Thank you so much, Topol Family, for your gift!

Museum hosts 1960 and 1964 US Olympic Ski Team Reunion!!!

2014Mar22 Museum Pic - web version

  Museum Co-founders David C Antonucci and Stan Batiste (pictured 2nd and 3rd from the left, next to Billy Kidd) are so happy to have hosted a reunion reception for the members of the 1960 and 1964 US Ski Team at the Museum. It was a fun night with 1960 US Ski Team members;  Beverly Anderson Brockway, Tom Corcoran and Joan Hannah  and 1964 US Ski Team members Billy Kidd, Chuck Ferries, Joan Hannah, Barbara Ferries Henderson, Bill Marolt, Ni Orsi and Starr Walton Hurley.  Everyone had a great time with food and drinks again provided by Joe Lanza and Eli Covell of the Hacienda restaurant and talks by Tom Kelly of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, Museum Co-founder David C Antonucci and Olympic medalist Billy Kidd.  Thanks also to photographer Sarah Brunson and US Olympic team logistical manager Jen Desmond for helping to make it go so well.  Another wonderful time ~~and  we are already planning the next museum party!

The known generosity of Julia Mancuso touches the Museum!

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Julia Mancuso is known for her generosity and philanthropy which now has touched the Museum of Sierra Ski History and 1960 Winter Olympics.  Julia grew up only 5 minutes from the museum in Olympic Valley, CA.  She is America’s greatest skier winning 4 medals in the Olympics, the most ever for a female alpine skier, and of course is our local hero.  Upon returning from her bronze medal victory in Sochi, Julia donated her entire Downhill and Super G ski outfit to the Museum (pictured above).  We have already picked out a display case and plan to have the suit on display in the museum by the end of April. ~~~We cannot thank you enough Julia for your donation to us and for all of your generosity to others!

Incredible donation by Joseph W. Smith!

Squaw Book transportstion engineering

Joseph W. Smith has found and donated the original 1960 Winter Olympics, State of California/ Olympic Commission engineering plans for transportation and snow compacting.  These are fantastic, very rare books with over 110 pages describing the Olympic facilities plans for traffic and parking.    Tahoe City and Truckee are among the areas included in many charts, maps and drawings detailing the transportation and parking plans for the event.  We know of no other copies of these books in existence. Once these are copied we will put them on display.  ~~~ Thank you so much Joseph for your valuable donation!

Norm Sayler ~ Icon of Donner Summit partners with the Museum!

Norm Sayler

Norm Sayler, the icon of the summit, president and manager of Donner Ski Ranch for 46 years, owner and operator of the History Museum in Soda Springs and the man singled out for his “forward-thinking” contributions to Donner Summit and the entire Tahoe region will be joining us.  Doing things his way he can be credited for many important things such as being instrumental in making Donner the first ski resort in America to open its slopes to snow boarders in the 1980s, which led to a resurrection of the snow sport industry.  As Norm stated: “My philosophy is simple. I don’t show people how to have fun, I let people have fun. That’s what skiing is all about.”  ~~ Norm was instrumental in saving both the Rainbow Bridge which looks over Donner Lake, as well as ensuring that large parts of highway 40 were preserved. Norm has a great ski history collection at his museum which is available for all to view in downtown Soda Springs, CA.   We are so happy that  Norm will be working with us to preserve the skiing history of the west.

Tahoe City Cub Pack 264 visits the Museum!

Boy Scouts in Museum pic

What a great time for both the Cub scouts of pack 264 and our museum host Olympian Joe Pete Wilson.  The scouts learned about ski history of our area and were able to hear stories of the 1960 Olympics from one who was there.  These are the types of experiences and gatherings that we hoped for when we created the museum.  Thanks so much to all the leaders and parents of Cub Pack 264 hope you can return next year!

Extreme Athlete Craig Beck brings his Longboards to the Museum!

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Craig Beck can be characterized as a Renaissance man and truly one of the first Extreme Sportsman. Craig’s first introduction to skiing was as a press runner at the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, USA.  One of the original Lake Tahoe ski “hotdoggers,” he went on to produce the iconic ‘70’s ski film, “Daydreams,” which he also shot and starred in.  His love of skiing and other board sports is constant. For many years he resurrected an interest in the historical longboards by designing and honing dozens of pairs himself for a National Longboard competition, which he organized and held for many years in the Lake Tahoe region. This led to an Olympic demonstration spectacle at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.  Craig and wife, Cindy, are the parents of Clay, Emily and David and also the doting grandparents of four active grandsons! Come by and see examples of Craig’s longboards which he has placed on display as well as informational materials about the great sport of longboard racing.  Thanks so much Craig and Cindy!

Wonderful Grunwald /Howarth Family Donation!

1960 Olympic Map

It is through great donations like this rare 1960 Olympic Map from the Grunwald /Howarth family that allows the Museum to grow and ensure that we are able to preserve our history.  This very unique map was available at the 1960 Olympics and features an overview of the mountain courses and the valley Olympic venue.  The framed map will be on display in the museum shortly.  We thank the Grunwald /Howarth family for becoming part of our museum!

KCRA museum report during Sochi Winter Olympics

KCRA web pic

The museum made its primetime television debut on NBC during the night of the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics Closing ceremonies.  The story included an overview of our museum with interviews of Co-founder~David C. Antonucci, 1960 winter Olympian ~Joe Pete Wilson and Blyth Arena model builder Doug Yates. The story preceded the Olympic Games during KCRA’s “Olympic Zone” broadcast. You can watch the coverage under the ”PRESS” page of this website.  Thanks so much Mae Fesai and Chris Riva for your great reporting.

The FANTASTIC Blyth Arena model is now on display for a limited time!

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  Doug Yates has created a Fantastic scale model of the Blyth Arena which stood as the center piece for the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley.  Doug has gone over-the-top on this model by including all the fine details of the Arena’s architecture out to replications of the art that hung in the front. The model even includes the exact replica scoreboard with the original score and is complete with working lights.  It is exciting for those of us who remembered the Arena and for all of us we can now feel closer to what it was like being there.  Although it appears finished, Doug has told us that he is going to keep working on it to fill the bleachers with spectators and place in the front of the model the original Disney sculptures.  Doug we really can’t thank you enough for your hard work and commitment and for sharing this with the Lake Tahoe community. 

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We are so excited at the museum that Tahoe ski legend, 4-time Olympian, Sugar Bowl Resort ambassador and the most decorated US Male Downhill skier, Daron Rahlves will be joining us as a contributor and as our Athlete Museum host.  Daron has graciously loaned us a large part of his Olympic memorabilia, including his participation medal and nearly his entire skiwear from the 2010 Olympics.  We are creating a large display to tell the story of Daron and once cataloged, we will put all of the Olympic memorabilia on display.  Come learn about Daron’s amazing accomplishments and see why his collection is such a valued gift for the Museum to share.  Thanks so much Daron!!!

New 1960 Winter Olympic Film !!!

blue-film-reel

For the Olympic Heritage Celebration Week Museum open house, we created a new 1960 winter Olympic movie comprised of newly edited Olympic footage.  We included pre-Olympic footage from the US forest service as well as video clips from honeymoon videos the summer after the Olympics with view of the inside of Blyth arena.  Watch the opening ceremonies and brief overviews of all the winter events. The video debuted at the very successful open house with a list of Tahoe dignitaries and multiple prior Olympians.  ~~~~~~ You can watch the video as it is on the video link on this museum website.  Thanks so much for everyone coming to the open house and stay tuned to the website for the next upcoming event!

Olympic Heritage Celebration ~ Museum Open House Jan. 16th 5:30-7:30pm

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The Museum will be holding an open house Thursday January 16th from 5:30 to 7:30pm,  celebrating our Olympic Heritage.  Come visit the Museum and see hundreds of 1960 winter Olympic artifacts and slide show featuring the outstanding photos of the Olympic photographer bill Briner.  Meet prior Olympians and hear stories of those who attended and participated in the Olympics.  Lake Tahoe historian and Museum partner David C. Antonucci will also be there to answer any questions relating to the Olympics and the ski history of the Tahoe region.  Refreshments will be served, we will have a great time and possibly all come together to prey for snow!!!!! Don’t miss out……

The Weekly~~~ Featured Article: – Joe Pete Wilson

Joe Pete wilson Tahoe Weekly article

“Wilson grew up in Lake Placid, New York. A place that Wilson says is just like Tahoe: kids dream of growing up to become winter Olympians.” -The Weekly ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~To see the full article go to our page “Events/Press” above and follow the link!  

Record turn-out for our Olympic Guest!

joe pete wilson batiste family pic

We have had record turn-outs every day that Joe Pete Wilson has been in the Museum. He has been greeting guests, taking pictures and telling wonderful stories about his time in the Olympics, his involvement in the US Olympic team and how he was able to open the first commercial cross country course in the US.  Pictured here with Museum co-founder Maryann Batiste and family, Joe is having a great time as he is in his element socializing with skiing enthusiasts. Joe will be in the museum 11:00am to 4:00pm through Jan. 3rd so come by and say hi! ~~~~~~Thanks Joe!

Museum to Host Winter Olympian and US Ski Team Coach ~ Joe Pete Wilson!

Joe Pete Wilson 2d2

The Museum of Sierra Ski History and 1960 Winter Olympics in partnership with Granlibakken Resort will present living history with Joe Pete Wilson from December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 from noon to 4:00 p.m. each day. – - – Wilson was a member of the 1960 United States Cross-country Team that competed in the VIII Olympic Winter Games at Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe. Wilson raced against international skiing stars in the 30 km race held near Tahoma, Cal. Later he was a member of the two and four-man USA Olympic Bobsled Teams wining a bronze medal in 1964 during World Cup competition. He coached the USA biathlon team and co-founded the first commercial cross-country ski area in the United States at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt.

Happy Holidays!

Holiday,Christmas

The Antonucci and Batiste families want to wish everyone Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This has been a great first year for the Museum with thousands of visitors, gracious financial and memorabilia donations and fantastic community support.  With all of the support we have been able to grow and are looking forward to this next year with lots of surprises. Our goal remains bringing our ski history to the people of the Lake Tahoe region while keeping it fun, fresh, educational and entertaining.  ~~~~Thanks again to everyone at the Boatworks Mall, with special thanks to Channel properties, Hal Slear, Joe Lanza, Eli Covell , and Peter Thomson for their continued help.

2014 Olympic Heritage Celebration!

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The 2014 Olympic Heritage Celebration is coming to the Museum!  – “Olympic Museum Mixer”  Thursday Jan. 16th.  5:30-7:30.  Olympic Athletes, Refreshments, Olympic Slide Presentations and Olympic Overview from Lake Tahoe Historian David C. Antonucci

New 1960 Olympic book by David C. Antonucci available Nov. 11th 2013!

Winter Olympic Book  antonucci

This book features rare images taken by official Olympic photographer Bill Briner that are complemented with images from public and private collections, some never before published. Using extensive research and oral histories from Olympic athletes and officials, award-winning author and museum founder David C. Antonucci brings the VIII Olympic Winter Games to life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               You will be able to purchase the book at amazon.com by following the link to Amazon under our web page “Tour/Video/Books” above.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Congratulations David!

WOW! Great, Rare Donation From The Dwyer Family!

Reno Book 1

~~~~This is what started it all!~~~~ Alexander Cushing’s bid for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games began when he saw an article about The City of Reno’s Olympic bid. Well the extremely rare Reno Olympic Submission Bid Book has been found and was donated by the Dwyer Family. This artifact was found by the antique book collector and is the only one they have known to exist. The book is leather bound, in great condition and contains all of the plans for the Olympics including the planned conversion and use of Slide Mountain for the main venue. Thanks so much Dwyer family for your generous donation and for understanding the value to the museum. The book will be photographed and then will be on display before the upcoming Olympics.  

An Elegant Affair

Elegant affair tahoe stan batiste maryann batiste

The Museum is happy to participate in the North Tahoe Boosters Club “An Elegant Affair” Friday, November 22 from 6:30 to 9:00pm in the Boatworks Mall, Tahoe City.  The North Tahoe Booster Club is dedicated to the continual growth and development of rewarding and successful athletic programs for the North Tahoe Middle School and High School. Through its fundraising and volunteer efforts by parents, coaches and community members, the club helps support school athletics and works to make athletics a valuable experience for all students.   Tickets are available at “The Store”, “Copies and More” and “Rosie’s” or at their website at:  http://www.northtahoeboosters.org/

Placer County Board of Supervisors Reception ~ Thanks for Coming!

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Again, Joe Lanza and Eli Covell from the Hacienda restaurant were over-the-top catering the Placer County Board of Supervisors reception at the Museum on Tuesday – thanks again!   We also want to thank all the supervisors that attended as well as all of the local Tahoe dignitaries.   Special thanks to Bill Clark who spoke about the status and continued efforts for the Squaw Valley Ski Museum Foundation project and for hosting the reception. And finally, thanks to everyone who came and made it another great museum event! Next Event – Elegant Affair (Friday before Thanksgiving)

Ski History Videos Now Available!

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Parts 1 & 2 of the Ski History series are available at the museum using QRC technology (available through most smart phones) and under the “video” page of this website.  Both videos are narrated by local Tahoe historian and musuem co-founder David C. Antonucci.       

Grand Opening Celebration ~ Great Turnout , Great People, Great Night!

Grand opening sierra ski history museum

What a great night! – the Grand Opening of the museum was a grand success with notable visits from past and present US ski team members including  Megan Ganong, Travis Ganong, Tamara McKinney and Lila Lapana. Dr Richard Ganong, the US Ski Team physician and Vojko Lapana of the Yugoslavia Olympic ski team were also present for the opening.  Plenty of food and drink was provided to the crowded room by Joe Lanza and Eli Covell from the Hacienda del Lago.  The always generous Mike Akay, from Lake Tahoe Chocolates, suprised everyone by showing up with an excessive amount of assorted candies from his place in the Boatworks mall.  The highlight of the night were the opening ceremony speeches by historian and musuem partner David C. Antonucci and Bill Clark from the Auburn Ski Club thanking everyone for their support and generous donations for the project.  Now the only issue is what excuse we will come up with for the next museum party – coming soon!