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Montrose Ski Bowl
Montrose, Pennsylvania

DCSki didn’t have a lot of information on Montrose Ski Bowl, but in late 2014 Woody Bousquet found an old brochure for sale and purchased it. Although the publication date of the brochure is unknown, it provides a lot of details.

A brochure from Montrose Ski Bowl. Photo provided by Woody Bousquet.
A brochure from Montrose Ski Bowl. Photo provided by Woody Bousquet.
A brochure from Montrose Ski Bowl. Photo provided by Woody Bousquet.
A brochure from Montrose Ski Bowl. Photo provided by Woody Bousquet.

DCSki reader Bill O’Hara uncovered the following postcard on www.teachski.com from the Montrose Ski Bowl showing the ropetow area.

A postcard showing the Montrose Ski Bowl. Photo courtesy of www.teachski.com.

Elmer Taylor dug into his photo archives and provided the following excellent photos and postcard:

Front of a postcard from 1951 of the Montrose Ski Bowl, dug up by a friend of Elmer Taylor. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

Back of the postcard. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

The old motor house. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

View from the top. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

Spring skiing. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

Spring skiing. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

Rental shop and Taylor staff. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

Ski shop with a view. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

All ages enjoy. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

D.C. Fly-ins. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

Race day on the little hill. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

Race day on the little hill. Photo provided by Elmer Taylor.

 

A photo of the Montrose Ski Bowl site taken on July 6, 2008. Photo provided by Bill O'Hara.

 

A photo of the Montrose Ski Bowl site taken on July 6, 2008. Photo provided by Bill O'Hara.

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Elmer Taylor
9 years ago
A friend sent me this website and I am interested in adding my knowledge, experience and photos. I am 73 years old, a member of the 70 club so I have been at it for some time. The Commonwealth Telephone Co donated the ski Bowl equipment in the1930s. I am sure I have more pictures.
The equipment was donated to a group of ski enthusiasts from Binghamton NY and Montrose PA
They first operated there with that motor house pictured. The motor house is still there, Pretty bad shape but it is there. I owned the “Taylors North Hill Ski shop” at the area for about 6 years in the 50s. Quite a few people that skied there then are still around although most are not skiing.
I will pull out our old pictures and stories of the area and put them together for you to use what ever you would like. I know some of the people in the photo that you have of the motor house
ET
Scott
9 years ago
Hi Elmer,

Please feel free to send me (Scott) any information or photos you have, and I will use it to update the profile. You can find my e-mail address by going to “About DCSki” in the main menu at the top of the page and scrolling to the “About DCSki’s Editor” section. Look for the link in the sentence “he welcomes e-mail from readers.”
G. Joseph Rogers
9 years ago
Following are my recollections and comments about the Montrose Ski Bowl. I was born in Montrose Pennsylvania in January 1937, The fifth generation of my family to be born and/or lived in Montrose. As you can see I grew up during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Winter sports of all knids were a big part of children’s life in Montrose. Practically every child had a sled and if you had a Flexible Flyer you were really cool. Most children also had downhill skis and some had a toboggan. We skied and went sledding anywhere there was a verticle drop, even the town grave yard.

The Montrose Ski Bowl was opened in 1935. It consisted of two rope tows with five or six trails. It was operated by local townspeople until World War II. In the years after the war the area was run by several owners. Some names that come to mind are: Dick & Chick Nealy and Bill & Winnie Paulsen. I believe some of the these operators were returning veterans, maybe even some 10th Mt. Division troops. The final operators were Bill Heinz and my liflong friend Elmer Taylor. They were teamed with five men from Scranton Pennsylvania: Frank McMannoman., Doug Rowland, Jim Wintermantle, Bill Butler and Pat Keahey. Elmer and his wife Becky operated a small ski shop at the area. The area finally closed in 1970.

Many things come to mind about the ski area and here are a few: Going from my home in the North part of town, on my skis, down through the center of town to the South part of the village. Past the house where I was born. From there it was a long mostly down hill run to the Ski Bowl. I would judge this total distance to be between 2 & 3 miles, mostly down hill. At the end of the day my father would drive down and retrieve me. The restroom facilities at the area consisted of an outhouse. In the main lodge was a large round hearth fireplace. It had like an inverted funnel for a smoke stack and there was always the smell of wet wool being dried on this stack. In later years we would have steak roasts on the fireplace followed by starting up the rope tow and skiing in the darkness. In the period following WWII I can remember people would come to Montrose on a train. There were two lines that came into town, one from the South and one from the East. Mostly these people would stay at the Montrose Inn. This was a first-class, year-round hotel, with a great lounge. In the late 1940’s the rates were $2-$15 and $2 in a domnitory (actually a long hallway in the basement with cots). The overflow would be directed over to the Nauman Hotel a block away. I can remember my father coming home and saying, “Well the Inn and the Nauman are full of skiers this weekend”. One last little bit of trivia, before WWII, on the roof of the lodge at the Ski Bowl were painted the words, in large letters, “SKI HEIL”. As niave little kids we thought this saying was somehow related to the saying “Hail Hitler”. The adults assured us it was OK and was intended as a salute to Skiing.

Those of us who grew up in Montrose in the 1940’s and 1950’s had a great, happy, life. Skiing was a large part of this enjoyment and the Montrose Ski Bowl was where we skied most. Some of my generation still lives in or around Montrose and some of us 70’rs still ski.

Submitted January 9, 2008
G. Joseph Rogers
Smugglers’ Notch Vermont
G. Joseph Rogers
9 years ago
Greetings Scott:
Had an additional thought about the Montrose Ski Bowl. At the beginning of The Montrose Ski Bowl site you see a post card of the area showing the main ski slope with the rope tow at the right side of the photo. In the lower left of the photo there is a small group of people, not on skis, watching the activity. In the post WWII period going to watch the skiing by the townspeoplewas a popular Sunday outing. In addition to driving into the main lodge area to watch skiers people would also drive to the bottom of Park Street and turn left onto the road that went fron Route 29 west to the Fairdale Road. On a sunny Sunday afternoon it was nothing to see 10 - 20 cars parked on this road with the occupants watching the skiers across the valley, coming down the main slope. On some Sundays my father would drop my mother, brother and myself off for mass at the Catholic Church. He would then swing by the news stand, get the paper and go down to the end of Park Street, watch the skiers and read his paper, returning to pick us up an hour later
Rolly Quick
8 years ago
Like Joe Rogers and Elmer Taylor, I too was born in Montrose, just before Joe and just after ‘old’ Elmer. Actually, that’s a huge misnomer, as Elmer will never be old.

My first skiing at the Montrose Ski Bowl would have been in 1946 or ‘47, when both the “Little” Tow and the “Big” Tow were in operation. I skied there for several years after the early days but the memory fails as to the details but I remember well—must have been in the mid ‘60’s when Elmer and Donnie Very spearheaded our local Ski Patrol, of which I was a proud member and have my orange parka to this day. Also in the mid ‘60’s, either ‘64 or ‘65, while flying helicopters in the Marine Corps Reserve, out of NAS Willow Grove, near Philadelphia, I flew up to the ski area and paid my fellow skiers a visit. Certainly a high light of my flying career.

Rolly Quick
Trophy Club, TX
Sharon (Hinds) Downey
8 years ago
So many memories at the Montrose Ski Bowl! I think I was only 9 or 10 but I remember how hard it was for me to grab onto that HUGE rope that had been dragging in the snow for weeks and weighed at least 500 lbs (at least that’s what it felt like). All of us kids used to play “hide and seek” on the mountain…and the hot chocolate was to die for! Very fond memories that will always be in my heart.
Rob Bradish
7 years ago
The closing date is actually a little early. My Family moved to Montrose from Maryland in 1970 and I learned to Ski on the “Bunnyslope” of the Ski bowl. We skiied there at least 2 seasons, and I think 3, making closing around 1973. Elmer, who will never grow old, I am sure, went on to build my Parents home in 1978 and I left Montrose in 1980.

Fond Memories, indeed
Mary Ann Furey DeWitt
7 years ago
Oh yes, the Montrose Ski Bowl! A favorite of many Montrose area people. Every weekend, our parents would take us to the tow and come back in several hours to find us wet, worn out and hungry. Those were the good, old days - thank goodness we enjoyed them.
Martin Moore
7 years ago
I have many fond memories of the Montrose Ski Bowl, known to me as Spruce Run. Growing up in South Montrose in the 60s & 70s, and the main pass time of my youth was sledding, tobogganing or sliding downhill on snow. My first recollections of Spruce Run happen while visiting my Aunt in the nursing home, Asa Park Manner, which was located on the southern hill directly across the small valley from the ski bowl. What truly grasped my attention was that these people didnt have to walk back up hill. My mother had skied at Buck Hill falls in the Poconos while in college in the 40s and mentioned that she might consider taking me over to the slope someday. In the mid 60s my brother had gotten some wooden ski for Christmas, they were six foot long and had leather straps to hold your foot (loosely) on the ski. Being only 5 years old at the time, I had to try and ski on then at every chance my brother wasnt using them.

I remember the limiting factor of skiing at Spruce Run was my ability to maintain my grip on that big rope. I would wait in line of other skiers before going up the big hill; I needed help just to hold up that big rope. I learned not to use knitted mittens, one became bound in rope and it took a long time to catch the right point in time when I could attempt to pull it off the revolving, twisting rope, several attempts were made, I finally gave up and skied less one mitten. I had a pair of leather covers for my mitten the next week.

I wish I knew the seasonal year that Spruce Run officially closed. I remember waiting for long cold snaps and snow, after every snow, either I our one of my skiing buddies would make the phone call to Elmer Taylor, find out if Spruce Run would be open and let us know. When it did officially closed and the rental equipment was sold, my parents did purchase each of us a set of skies, boots and poles. I still have this equipment, still to this very day, my lace up boots, bamboo poles and wooden skies hang next to my modern equipment. I taught my wife to ski, before she became my wife I doubt that I would have married her if she didnt ski. One day in the early 80s, we were skiing at Greek Peak in upstate NY. While sharing a ride up the hill on the quad chair, an elderly couple struck up the usually conversation where are you from. When I mention Montrose area, they started talking about the Montrose Ski Bowl. This couple was in there late 70s and spoke of skiing in Montrose in the early 40s, staying at the Montrose Inn and the wonderful times they had. After we got off the lift, the conversation went on for another 20 minutes at the top of the slope. I could tell that this couple, with there vast skiing experiences, still considered the days spend in Montrose and at the ski bowl were highlights of their lives and indelible memories, never to be forgotten.

I have taught my kids to ski and still am a moderately active skier. I have skied out west and spend a weeks vacation skiing each year in Vermont and I hit the local slopes as often as I can. A few years ago, I started seeking out the small hills in PA; Denton Hill, Sawmill, Mt Tone, Jack Frost and others I long for the experience of my youth. Even today, I will occasionally turn down Lower South Main Street in Montrose, PA, drive out the dirt road running along the opposite hill side from Spruce Run, stop my car and look over at the over grown hill side of Spruce Run, reminiscing about the experiences I once had on that slope. My kids can recite verbatim, several of my stories. Thank you Elmer Taylor and all those who have made Spruce Run possible, the memories are endearing.
Martin Moore
7 years ago
Resubmiiting in tow sections - I ran out of room

I have many fond memories of the Montrose Ski Bowl, known to me as Spruce Run. Growing up in South Montrose in the 60s & 70s, and the main pass time of my youth was sledding, tobogganing or sliding downhill on snow. My first recollections of Spruce Run happen while visiting my Aunt in the nursing home, Asa Park Manner, which was located on the southern hill directly across the small valley from the ski bowl. What truly grasped my attention was that these people didnt have to walk back up hill. My mother had skied at Buck Hill falls in the Poconos while in college in the 40s and mentioned that she might consider taking me over to the slope someday. In the mid 60s my brother had gotten some wooden ski for Christmas, they were six foot long and had leather straps to hold your foot (loosely) on the ski. Being only 5 years old at the time, I had to try and ski on then at every chance my brother wasnt using them.

My first trip to Spruce Run was in the winter of 67 / 68. In late January of 68, my mother made me go over with my older brother and as she put it, to observe for the day, so I would learn what to do. That was the most tortures day of my life, watching kids, much younger than myself ski down the bunny slope, my brother having so much fun and other adults enjoying themselves while I was there only as a learning experience. As directed, I observed people, and then spent the rest of the day warning my toes at the fire in the lodge, consuming several cups of hot chocolate, three hot dogs and a few candy bars.
The anticipation of being able to ride up that hill was overwhelming.

The next Saturday was my turn; our mother left strict instructions to my brother that I was not to go down the big hill. I rented my first set of real skies and with my brother help and instructions, laced my boots up loosely so my foot would pull out of the boot if I took a bad fall, to squeeze the rope, never grab it, and most importantly, if you fall while going up the hill get out of the way as fast as you can so other riders dont have to stop. I was off, having one of the best days of my life! My older brother challenged me, if I could make it up and down the small hill five times in a row, without falling, he would take me up the big hill. Before lunchtime, I was successful and my brother helped me get up the big hill. When my mother arrived to pick us up, she found my brother first and asked where I was? My brother looked up the lower face of the big hill and pointed at this kid, wide tracking, totally out of control, flying down the hill with a big grin from ear to ear. Needless to say, Mom was not pleased, but accepted my behavior for what it was, or more importantly, fore whom I was! After that day, I skied at Spruce Run as often as I could; all of my wintertime paper route earning was spent exclusively at the hill and in the snack shop. Our local church group (MYF) would hold outing and events, night skiing on the bunny slope. I remember arriving early one weekend; Elmer Taylor had to enlist my brother and I to help shorten the rope on the big hill. He disconnected the rope from the pulleys and we drug one end to his ski shop, where he cut out about 10 feet of the rope. Elmira performed what appeared to be magic, he spliced the to ends together. I was so impressed that rope could be spliced that I practiced the technique several times myself and have become proficient, but I always ask myself if Elmer would think I did a good enough job.
Martin Moore
7 years ago
I remember the limiting factor of skiing at Spruce Run was my ability to maintain my grip on that big rope. I would wait in line of other skiers before going up the big hill; I needed help just to hold up that big rope. I learned not to use knitted mittens, one became bound in rope and it took a long time to catch the right point in time when I could attempt to pull it off the revolving, twisting rope, several attempts were made, I finally gave up and skied less one mitten. I had a pair of leather covers for my mitten the next week.

Another other found memory is what my family calls The Mystery of the Blue Snow. In the early 70s, just after Christmas, my brother John, and our two cousins John and Dan Wood, went skiing over the winter school vacation. We had had a two-foot dump of wet and heavy snow a few days before. In those days, no kids I knew had what would be considered real ski clothes, but we all had the white chicken skin long underwear, blue jeans, winter coats, hats and gloves. Over the course of the day we all got wet, I should add very wet, our legs were soaked thru including our socks, our gloves were dripping water from around the wrist bands. Snow had been scooped up under the back of our coats and our backs were soaked. We all started to notice blue streaks in the snow, not one of use knew or understood why there were areas of blue streaked snow and we were commenting on how we didnt see this in the morning. It seemed like every other run, more and more blue streaks would appear in the snow. It was a mystery, what was causing this to happen; trees, under ground springs, wax on someones skis no one knew but we all had different theories. When we got home at the end of the day, mom insisted that we all stripe off those wet clothes before taking one step into the house! When we did, we couldnt stop laughing, all of our white underwear was died pale blue, or legs were even tinted blue dye. All of us had received new blue jeans for Christmas and wore our new jeans skiing that day. The dye in the blue jeans had ran everywhere thus the mystery of the blue snow was reveled, our numinous wipe outs over the course of the day had left blue steaks in the snow once our jeans were soaked.

I wish I knew the seasonal year that Spruce Run officially closed. I remember waiting for long cold snaps and snow, after every snow, either I our one of my skiing buddies would make the phone call to Elmer Taylor, find out if Spruce Run would be open and let us know. When it did officially closed and the rental equipment was sold, my parents did purchase each of us a set of skies, boots and poles. I still have this equipment, still to this very day, my lace up boots, bamboo poles and wooden skies hang next to my modern equipment. I taught my wife to ski, before she became my wife I doubt that I would have married her if she didnt ski. One day in the early 80s, we were skiing at Greek Peak in upstate NY. While sharing a ride up the hill on the quad chair, an elderly couple struck up the usually conversation where are you from. When I mention Montrose area, they started talking about the Montrose Ski Bowl. This couple was in there late 70s and spoke of skiing in Montrose in the early 40s, staying at the Montrose Inn and the wonderful times they had. After we got off the lift, the conversation went on for another 20 minutes at the top of the slope. I could tell that this couple, with there vast skiing experiences, still considered the days spend in Montrose and at the ski bowl were highlights of their lives and indelible memories, never to be forgotten.

I have taught my kids to ski and still am a moderately active skier. I have skied out west and spend a weeks vacation skiing each year in Vermont and I hit the local slopes as often as I can. A few years ago, I started seeking out the small hills in PA; Denton Hill, Sawmill, Mt Tone, Jack Frost and others I long for the experience of my youth. Even today, I will occasionally turn down Lower South Main Street in Montrose, PA, drive out the dirt road running along the opposite hill side from Spruce Run, stop my car and look over at the over grown hill side of Spruce Run, reminiscing about the experiences I once had on that slope. My kids can recite verbatim, several of my stories. Thank you Elmer Taylor and all those who have made Spruce Run possible, the memories are endearing.

Martin Moore Dimock PA
G. Joseph Rogers
6 years ago
Greetings:
Does anyone have a photograph of the Subject Lodge Building? Contact me at gjr@sover.net.
Bill Jermyn
5 years ago
My son discovered this site today and sent it along knowing I’d be interested..I remember the Montrose Ski Bowl from the mid 50’s right after I returned from service in the US Army..At that time Bill and Winnie Paulsen were the operators of the area, and I recall many pleasant days skiing there along with a dear friend from the Dalton area, Gil Bunnell. On Saturdays we always cooked steaks on the open grill pit in the lodge, before the drive back to Clarks Summit..My recollection is that the area was owned by the Montrose Inn, although I believe that the local phone company had some interest in it as well…I have a very nice black and white photograph of the area,a birthday gift from the Paulsens, very similar to the one here on this page, showing the slope with the usual spectators looking at those ‘crazy’ skiers…Some very treasured memories !!
Joe Rogers
4 years ago
Attention Bill Jermyn:
Is there any chance I could get a copy of the photo that Bill & Winnie gave you. I have a collection of Snow Bowl items and would be pleased to give you copies of anything I have.
My Best Regards,
Joe Rogers
Smugglers Notch Vermont
gjr@sover.net
Christine Davis
4 years ago
My family and the McMannamon’s were neighbors for years and years. My first time on skis was at Spruce Ski Run back in the 1970’s. My brother broke his leg on the rope tow, lol. Love the pics. Brings back great memories.
Jon Kresky
4 years ago
What great memories! Spruce Run as I know it( never even knew it was Montrose Ski Bowl),was my first job at 15 yrs old in 1969! I would open the lodge, get the fire going and sell lift tickets and food (Stewart sandwiches and candy bars) all day! I also learned to ski there and still do to this day! On slow days,I could maybe do a few runs or usually after closing,everyone that worked there would would ski till dark or beyond!
3 years ago

            I grew up in Montrose and learned to ski at “The Bowl”. I was so young I could not carry the rope  to the top.  We ( the kids) would jump on the tow behind a adult and had to get off before the person in front got off.  Burned a lot of gloves up loving every minute.

            Purchased my first skis from Elmer with Leather tie boots. We would walk the hill to pack the snow for a free lift ticket.

            I have  fond memories of  Spruce Run. Growing up in  Montrose in the 60s & 70s. I spent many wonderful  winters day and learned a life long sport on the hill.

 

Pat Ely

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