Kevin Shearer reports that the Bear Rocks ski area used to be located off of Route 31, a few miles east of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.
- “I don’t know much about it, but I heard [Black Bear] had a double chair, a vertical of about 300 feet, and that it closed in the mid-1970’s.”
Robert Williams adds these memories of Bear Rocks:
- “My family skied the Bear Rocks ski area in the years 1970-73. I practically learned to ski there. Bear Rocks had only one slope and one trail. I do not remember the names. The area’s vertical was about 300 feet and they had one double chairlift, with wooden seats, similar to the old Stowe double chair at Seven Springs. The main slope was a straight shot down the face, somewhat flat at the top and bottom with a decent intermediate pitch in the middle. The trail angled off to the skier’s right and then made a 90-degree bend to intersect with the main slope about three quarters of the way down.
The lodge was on the skier’s left slightly above the chair loading station, which went up the opposite side of the slope. I am a little fuzzy on this but I believe there was a rope tow on the gentle grade between the lodge and chair base that served as a beginner area.
The area used Dupre style snowmaking towers down the middle of the slope which had a tree-lined ‘island’ down the middle similar to what is found on the North Face at Seven Springs. The Lodge was a beautiful, multi-level stone and wood building that doubled as the Bear Rocks Common in the summer. Like most areas of the time, there was no noticeable grooming. There was plenty of ice, ruts, rocks and moguls.
Although I am not sure, I think the winter of 1973 was their last year in operation. The lodge housed a restaurant for one or two years afterwards but burned down under ‘mysterious’ circumstances. The slope cuts can still be seen on TerraServer (circa 1993) along with the parking lot and area occupied by the Lodge. Unfortunately, you cannot visit the site to explore. The old entrance, found on Ski Slope Road in the Bear Rocks community, is blocked off and posted. I believe some of the upper slope area is now occupied by vacation homes.”
Robert provides this link to a TerraServer image.
Linda: The Nepenthe was the only name the restaurant ever had. Before that it was the Ski Lodge
I found your posting fascinating!! I met a woman from the Dacey Realty who remembers renting out a few cabins (“owned by doctors and such”) and they had to bring in supplies for the renters. I believe this was before it was developed as Bear Rocks. Another woman said the land was originally a large farm - the farm house still sits at the entrance to Bear Rocks. This is so interesting. I may get enoough to write a short history. THANKS!
Dan: do you still live the area?
Remember arron fruhauff? i forget how to spell there last name…adam,wesly….the cramer”s Michelle and kim….Melody o ‘dell…..Oh desiree johnson…..The Rutliges…candy and her brother….the koontz’s…eddie and a sister and another brother….dawn webster my best friend….she had a brother also….ronnie who passed was absolutly a doll, good person….haven’t forgot him…..there was also a tall boy who hung out with arron…johnny or something…black curley hair and the bluest eyes….tia bently nice girl….the drum player? my sisters friend adam wirdzick or something…..we all rode the bus to connelville to go to school…….I used to know that mountain like the back of my hand…..walked every where even at night when you couldn’t see your hand in front of you…..It brings back memories …..The nicest person I met up there was Arron fruhauff..and sweeny or swickey..some girl who loved to ride horses….
Well if anyone remembers those people or your one of them…..post a message here….I’d like to see how lifes benn treating you after all these years….Bear Rocks was a fun place to live….
Jodie - Its good to remininiss! I knew everybody you mentioned and prolly met you too once or twice. :) I used to hang with adam’s youger brother Wes Fruhoff when I was a little kid and with Ron Sandows brother bob (robert) as a teen - He is a professor at Lockhaven now and has a cool website. Kim and Michelle Cramer were my next door neighbors. Sadly Kim died at only 23.
I remember how much I loved just walking around outside and how beautiful it was living there. I hung out with Erica and Renee Berry. I’d love to here how anyone from that time frame is doing.
I saw this site a few months back, before anyone really posted on it. Then my mom found it and saw my name referenced, so here I am posting! Danny and Jodi, I remember you both well (in fact, I have a few OLD photos from the old days), and have very fond memories of my years in Bear Rocks. I would love to connect with you guys, and anyone else out there. I’m thinking of starting a Bear Rocks blog page - not so much a current one, being that I live in Nashville, but one where folks like us can connect, upload old pictures, etc. Drop a line!
I’ve definitely decided to write a local history on Bear Rocks, and thanks to Dan Boggs have already started my research. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would be delighted to hear from you personally. Adam, could I possibly see your old photos—perhaps scan them and send them? Initally, I want to focus on the “real” Bear Rocks up Bear Rocks Road as Dan noted, as well as any pre-ski resort history or memories. Also, I saw “Bear Rock School” listed as a historical location, but haven’t tracked it down yet. Your recollections are important; much of the history will be oral…
THANKS IN ADVANCE! Karen Frank
Would love to hear from anyone - email@example.com
Would love to hear from anyone - firstname.lastname@example.org
It was at Bear Rocks that I somehow first really “got it” about alpine skiing….my first run just flying through ungroomed snow….an almost mystical experience. Oh, I’d been skiing for years by then, but I’d never really been able to FLY on skis the way I did that one night at Bear Rocks.
Since then I’ve gotten much older but along the way I’ve been lucky to ski around the world throughout New England, California, Colorado & Europe. I’ve even skiied up north of the Arctic Circle in Finland and down the side of a volcano in New Zealand. I’m still skiing now, at age 52.
And you know what? Whenever I dream at night about myself skiing, it’s not about any of those other places. Nope. It’s ALWAYS about that magical run at Bear Rocks. ONLY Bear Rocks.
That’s why I web-searched for “Bear Rocks” now and found this wonderful site. Thank you, all of you, for that lifelong dream…………!
Since I currently have a house on Mountainview Rd - across the street from the ski area - let me know if you want some photos of the current area and I’ll try to get them. Getting back to the ponds right now might be an issue due to weather but we’ll see what we can do. Thanks.
Again please forward me photos of the ski area - in operation (night and day ) would be great.
I HAVE A YOUNGER BROTHER, RICH GEHMAN. HE IS 38 NOW.HE IS MARRIED, HAS 2 GORGEOUS BOYS AND OWNS “CLAWS” CRAB HOUSE IN REHOBOTH BEACH, DELEWARE.
I WAS GREAT FRIENDS WITH CANDY RUTLEDGE, GINA LA VERDI, KELLY KOONTZ, LYNETTE GRIMM, THE FRUEHAUF’S, BILL PROUD, THE SHARBAUGH’S, THE KINKEAD’S, AND THE REST OF THE KOONTZ CLAN.
RON SANDOW WAS MY BOYFRIEND AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. THAT WAS AN AWFUL DAY FOR ALL OF US. OCTOBER, 14TH, 1984. I STILL THINK ABOUT IT ALOT. WE ALL LOST A GREAT FRIEND THAT DAY.
NOT TOO LONG AFTER RON DIED, I NEEDED A CHANGE SO I MOVED TO DC, JOINED THE AIRFORCE AND I WAS IN EUROPE FOR A FEW YEARS. I MET MY HUSBAND IN GERMANY, HE WAS AIR FORCE ALSO. WE GOT MARRIED AND WE NOW HAVE A 17 YEAR OLD SON, KYLE. HE IS GOING TO BE GOING OFF TO COLLEGE THIS FALL. HE WANTS TO MAJOR IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING. WE LIVE AT THE JERSEY SHORE NOW AND MY HUSBAND IS A FIREFIGHTER UP IN THE CITY - JERSEY CITY, WHICH IS RIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER FROM MANHATTAN. I AM REALLY HAPPY AND FEEL LIKE I HAVE A PRETTY GREAT LIFE.
I AM REALLY THANKFUL FOR ALL THE FRIENDS I HAD GROWING UP IN BEAR ROCKS. WE WERE LUCKY TO HAVE SUCH A NICE PLACE TO GROW UP IN. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM SOME OF MY OLD FRIENDS. MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS: CLNick117@comcast.net
PS; BOBBY SANDOW, I TRIED TO E-MAIL YOU AT THE ADDRESS YOU PROVIDED AND IT WOULD’T GO THROUGH. E-MAIL ME AND I WILL E-MAIL YOU BACK. I WOULD LOVE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT RON :)
All of Lifes Bessings to you All !
Alex & Laurie Federowicz
(352)293-2670 eastern time zone…
please don’t call past 9:00 PM
PS: Hi Rene and Erica !
& a Special thanks to Yvonne for letting me know about this site !!!
My parents bought some land at Bear Rocks in 1972….they never built anything there….and as far as I know never paid any taxes on the land….?
I am trying to get my father’s estate in order….I want to know exactly where the land was located…..how much he owes in back taxes…if there’s any way to sell it etc??? Does anyone know who I can contact to find that our? Is ANY part of the resort still operating…the swimming pool ,restaurant etc? Is there a manafement company I could contact? I am interested in anything anyone knows about this….I live in Atlanta now , so it makes this more complicated….THANKS!
Both of our children, Katie and Doug were born at Latrobe Hosp. and had their first years in Bear Rocks before we moved in 1979 to Annapolis, MD.
I remember Jim Boggs, Marners, Waits, Freuhaufs (sp), Kinkaids, Butch, Denny, Joe, and so many others that I’m having a senior moment overload remembering.
It was during our years there that a bunch of us built the Bear Rocks fire station as part of the Bullskin Twp. Vol. Fire Dept. Our wives became “widows” as we all worked on it, but would bring us lunch breaks as we toiled. I remember plenty of freezing, snowy nights at a house chimney fires or a hay barn burning.
In the winter, we would build a fire at the top of the old ski slope and bunches of us meet with the children for sleding and tobogganing. A couple of the dads had snowmobiles to tow us all back to the top.
I remember having dinners at the Bear Rocks club house, the Nepenthe and Nino’s at the bottom of 3-mile hill.
Hope all our old friends are well and that their children and grandchildren are enjoying life.
Bear Rocks was a wonderful time in our lives!
Sledding on the old ski slopes was ridiculously fun, and spending summers swimming at the pool and fishing for Bluegill in the club pond was an ideal way to grow up.
1. Bar’s “Cuda”
2. Brents 3-wheeler
3. The Flying “W”
4. Johnny’s Trick Knee
5. “Mario Charrio”
6. The “Rocks”
7. Corning Cars from the tree top fort
8. Watched Mark Pomper fall from the tree top fort.
9. Saw Dave Kauffman drive his motorcycle into the lake.
10. Went sledding down Dogwood
11. Fought in the great crab apple war at the lodge lake on July 4th 1970.
12. Know who, Ugly, Stupid, and Sir Greatness are.
13. Went “Parking on the “New Roads”.
14. Drove your mini bike up Greenbrier.
15. Played Football into the darkness at Pomper Field with a neon glow in the dark football Chiquita Banana football.
16. Know how to play Indian Ball.
17. Know what a Polish Cannon is.
18. Went to a beer blast at the Ski Lodge after it closed but before it became “Nepenthe”
19. Hot wired the ski slopes tow rope and went sledding/skipping school
20. Watched from the top of the ski slopes or helped in the Great Bicenntennial 4th of July 1976 Slag Dump Blast. And depending on your vantage point,witnessed, either Denny’s Jeep going backwards down the ski slopes, or Mt. Pleasant’s Finest in action!!
P.S. Dammit Brent! I told you to quit tossing ladyfingers out the window.
21. Remember the tree in the middle of the intersection in front of Imrich’s house?
22. What ever happened to Imrich’s house?
23. The “Wayno”
24. How do you join the “Polar Bear Club” on the Memorial Day weekend?
25. Buzzy’s Trail
26. What it meant to go to the “New Roads”
Keep adding! And Brent, did you ever cut that ‘fro?
I learned to ski on the original Big Bear slope when I was 6 (1964j. There was just a rope tow and a tiny homosote warming shack. We had lace-up boots, bear trap bindings and huge baskets on our poles. I lived full time there from 1967 to 1977 (9 to 19 years old)my folks are still there.
Anybody can contact me at email@example.com
I have to admit that I am a true Bear Rocker because the list brings back many great memories.
My brother Greaser has moved south with his wife and family.
you guys practicly invented the polish cannon, and they dont make coke cans like that now, but
soup cans will do… Kids look at me with a blank stare these days if I mention “Polish Cannon”… But most of them know how to build a pretty good Potato Gun !
Want to B.R.BS… feel free to e-mail me
glad to hear your mom’s still up on the Mountain !
Ohio Pile is still a blast, we go there with the folks, when we are in town
I also remember:
4.Corning Cars from the tree top fort
5.Went sledding down Dogwood
6.Know who, Ugly, Stupid, and Sir Greatness are.
7.Went “Parking on the “New Roads”
8.Drove your mini bike up Greenbrier.
9.Know how to play Indian Ball.
10.Know what a Polish Cannon is.
What great times!! Brent and I took our kids back for a visit a couple years ago. It’s amazing how much Bear Rocks has changed, yet stayed the same!
1. Knew Stupid, Ugly and Sir Greatness.
2. Saw Dave Kaufmann drive his bike into the lake(and many other things)
3. Went to the “New Roads” manny, many times.
4. Saw the “3-wheeler” send a few to the hospital.
5. Played in Pomper field.(Mark’s brother turned me on to the Beatles)
6. Went to many Beer Blasts at the ski lodge(and any house where the parents were at the pool or out of town)
7. Went sledding down dogwood.
Now to add a few:
1. The County Store
3. Rock Pond
4. Pin Ball and Ping Pong Ball in the basement of the lodge.
5. Skied at the “original” ski slopes which only had a tow rope from top to bottom. This was before the ski slopes with the lodge were opened.
It’s over on the other side of 711, in Laughlintown. Looks like a real nice place…
Any one been there lately ???
How about these…
Matty & John Paul
Susie & Lynnie
Mark & Marybeth G
Mike & Lynn
Glad to see that so many of us managed to survive to adulthood.
Wow, this is bringing back so many memories for me as my brother mentioned in his post above of 7-14-08.
firstname.lastname@example.org & I’ll try looking you up on myspace, my link there is:
Herb Scott’s son, last time I saw him we had a few beers together out at the old dive, up on the hill,out past Leepers Market… He had a good Tech. position, in the U.S.A.F. at the time…
If I’m ever in Nashville, I’ll stop in with a Bottle of good Southern Wiskey…. We can B.S. about the Gulf War, I was there too… Still have that Honda 200, My clunky old Hodaka is way long gone !
How do I contact u?
I also live in Park City and just saw the Bogner t-shirt that Nancy is speaking of, it is an exact replica of the ad in the Pittsburgh Press for Bear Rocks Property and Resort and ran in 1965.
Thanks a bunch.
Randy (I’m a girl) Lyon
I see Tim McBride skiing at Denton Hill up on Route 6.
Do you come to PA.?
contact me at email@example.com
I would love to hear from Tim McBride and catch him up on what I am doing now. I come to PA every summer to visit my folks for a week or two. Not so much in the winter. We were in Beaver Creek all weekend. I am ski racing and I move around a lot.
Please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to get together with you this summer.
I also remember Jimmy Brady and I getting off the bus behind the lake (near the Country Store) and throwing rocks at each other (in a friendly game) until dark.
What a gas!
You and Josef helped me learn to ski as a toddler. Many thanks, and great to see your entry!
Happy New Year all!
Whats it been, 35-40 years? Good to hear from you. I forgot about the pinball and ping pong until now, I’m sitting here laughing about it as I think about it. Because of those days I can still beat about 98% of the people I play in ping pong. Where you living these days?
Remember “Buck” / Glen Scott & Herb ? I Know Buck went into the U.S.A.F. I think Herb must have passed , as that was all over 20 years ago…
I live in NC now and go to their slopes, which, are actually decent, but still not as good as Pa.
Living in the West Valley of Phoenix AZ with wife of 12 years and our four little ones. Working for DC-based research firm, where I have spent most of the last 5 years traveling and teaching management and leadership to physician leaders and hospital executives. Life is good. We enjoy the desert. I prefer the Summers here (112 degrees with no humidity) to the Summers in DC (85 to 95 degrees and VERY humid).
Hope you are well.
In answer to one of the earlier posts, Herb Scott did pass away just a few years ago. There are just a handful of “old timers” left at the club. Speaking of which…why weren’t you at the Board Brunch yesterday, Don Boggs? lol
My family and I are still skiing. Our daughter, Abby, lives in Denver and we will be skiing Winter Park March 8-13. Do you ever ski in Colorad? We have never been to Park City but plan to visit there some day. Abby worked at park city so that has been are destination spot. My brother John has been to Park City and tells me he has run into to you. I have kept in touch with Tim Mcbride. Did you see his entry above? Say hi to Josef.
Annnie (Waite) Lauver
What is your last name as I might remember it? I lived in Bear Rocks from 1976-86. Had a crush on Paula Sharbaugh and rode the bus with Bill. I was also heavily involved in the plays and such, and played drums with Gene Dacey for them. Memories!
I bought a lot in Bear Rocks in 1971 havent been back since. How do I find out the location of my lot (address) since the resort does not exist anymore and all I have is lot ?
Just checked the site and saw your posting. My last name was Ball and we lived on Horseshoe Bend Rd.
His Resteraunt, “The Furnace”, can still be seen at: http://sillettdesigns.com/archives/furnace/tree.html
I talked with Chef Shay MacDonald, a good friend of Adam’s, who cooks at the Copper Cantina, he used to hang out with Adam at Adam’s place, but even he can not reach Adam, so I think the end of The Furnace was pretty tough on him. Adam put a lot of love sweat and tears into that place, and it just wasn’t right that it had to close. I hope you guys are doing well, and are happy. How’s the rest of your family doing ?
My contact info is above on a November 6, 2008 posting. So scroll up a bit and you’ll find it…
I had the pleasure of many days and nights at Bear Rocks with my friends Jim (who I grew up with in Aspinwall, PA) and Mary Lawrence (and of course, Sara). Since I have already confessed to who my friends are it will be of no surprise that there were many nights that I do not quite remember how (or when) I found my way to bed. One of the things about aging is that my memory gets worse and my discretion improves. I will never forget Annie and Jane and Bea Waite who when Mary Lawrence was added comprised a “critical mass” of Loonie-Toons. Of course, Chez Lawrence (the new one) is right at the top of what was the original ski trail back in the day. My most recent (and much too long ago) visit with the Bear Rocks crowd was when my wife Barbara and I went to Sara’s wedding in Philly. When we got to the airport we found that our flight was canceled because both Picksburgh and Philly airports were closed by a blizzard so in true Bear Rocks tradition we said “to hell with the weather” and we drove to Philly - white knuckles all the way and we were forced to stop overnight in Reading. But we got there and (of course) a good time was had by all.
Good times, good friends.
Remember you from as a little kid at Beula United Presb. Church. That is really great,that you kept the cottage in your family. As kids I and many others were always buzzin’ around on dirt-bikes. I never knew you had one, or would have invited you alond for rides. I remember seeing you around a few times at the lodge & pool…
My email is email@example.com or on facebook under my name.
Contact Julie / K.D. Weeks on Green Brier Rd.
They have been instrumental in helping stop destructive profiteering that perminently destroys the Aqua-Strata that bear well water. Often toxic waste is dumped into these strip-mines as (land-fill)if it ever happens there near B.R. all the wells will become highly toxic almost overnight, and that will be perminent…
I would guess that Don Boggs is a good resource too. Often when old farmers die, their greedy, lazy idiot, & money grubbing children race in to sell the land to strip-miners. I have driven past such sites decades later, and the toxic yellow-green ooz is still flowing along the road sides… Don Boggs could probably take you out for a photo session of this stuff. It makes undeniable evidence in court battles…
You may call me at (352)293-2670 EVENINGS TO CHAT A BOUT THIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Look at the bear Rocks web site for board meetings… To fight this destructiuon of the land…
We are working toward getting our house ready for sale. While the place is beautiful, I would highly recommend talking to the neighbors near whatever house you consider. There is virtually no police protection. The Uniontown state police cover our community and as you may know they are an hour away. Neighborhood bullies,drunks, etc. (and they’re usually on golf carts, quads, bikes, etc.) pretty much do as they please with the knowledge that no one is around to stop them. I’d love to sell you our house right now!
For mapping info goggle Bear Rocks, acme, PA maps (satellite).
Bear Rocks ad from 1983.
Thank you in advance,
The dogs on Forest are a pit bull mix and a german shepherd mix and are owned by Mark and Madonna Mullen. They are a constant problem and the police are very familar with them. The animal control officer, Gary Moore can be reached at 724 425 1825. If more people reported their incidents we would be able to walk safely through our beautiful community in no time at all. Mark is very loud, dim witted, and obnoxious but like most bullies he only knows bad words and backs down when confronted
When my children can’t play in their neighborhood without being terrified that one of those dogs will attack or get run over by the psycho tow truck driver…you bet that I’m going to type everywhere I can to make someone listen. My job is to make sure my children are safe, as well as protect a community that can get back to what it was intended to be,,,unfortunately without ski slopes.
Graduated C’ville Senior High School in 1972.
Does anybody know the whereabouts of Dave Kaufman?
Last saw him in California in 1974 when I was in the Navy.
Jay-I’ll never forget our 76 vacation to Ormand Beach, Florida - that fleabag motel we stayed at, and all the “extras” that we shoved into the back of your car. Using the radiator in our room as a refrigerator for our tequila. And yes, it WAS a good vacation, and no, I’m not still mad at you ;) I’m surprised that none of us ended up behind bars (there’s laws against the things we did!) We’ll certainly never have that kind of freedom again. My sister Carolyn married Ken Macha-does anybody remember the Machas from the big corner house between the stables and the slope?
I do remember most memories mentioned, and although I’m not the best at names, I definitely remember all the faces, and all the happy times. We lived off of Rock Pool Road- 910 Maple Drive (Lane possibly? It’s been so long) I’m still living in Pittsburgh, and after trying marriage once, I decided that I’d rather have dogs! I have a 22-year-old daughter, and after pulling me kicking and screaming from the Stone Ages, she found it easier to type this up for me.
By the way , does anybody remember the name of the resort area across the road from BR that never took off? All I remember is that there were 3 lakes (cess pools) in there, and that there was an old box car in the woods (we suspected that “Green Teeth” lived there.)
I don’t have my own email address, but if anyone wants to catch up, or if anyone has any old pictures they could share, you can reach me at my daughters email address:
Thank you all for the wonderful memories - my shrink says I just might be normal again someday ;)
P.S. We knew we had an audience when we got changed for bed at night!
please send… email@example.com