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History of Mt Molson

The Petawawa Ski Club began in 1961 when a young man named Fred Moslon saw the portential of skiing down the bluffs of the relic shoreline of the ancient Champlain Sea. To this end he cut and cleared brush and stumps to create a trail down these bluffs and a few hardy souls strapped on the skis and declared Molson's Hill open to the public. Going down was easy but coming up again was a thrill as Fred used a modified truck to propel a rope tow from the bottom to the top -- a journey of 120 vertical feet in about 8 seconds. Wow!

Back in the old days, the 'chalet' was a converted chicken coop with a pot bellied stove and on the weekends the voices of happy children filled the air as they sped down the hill in their steel edge skis with bear trap bindings. A solid nucleus of 'ski bums' was always at the hill honing thier skills and terrifying their parents who could see no future in the new winter sport.

With skiing growing in popularity year by year, it wasn't long before ski racing came to be. Led by a young man named Des Murphy, racers from Petawawa began to make a name for themselves in the Upper Ottawa Valley and the Outaouais with their skill and daring. Graduates of those earlier years were Thain and Keith Paterson, Christine and Jeff Brunette, Tracy Annand, Scott and Lisa Edmonds to name just a few, with Meghan Paterson being our most recent.

Over the years the hill has been expanded from time to time as funds and volunteers permitted and the old chicken coop became outdoor washrooms when the 'new chalet' was built in the late sixties. The tow rope was still in use and continued to 'propel' people up the hill at a dizzying speed. The continued growth of skiing as a popular winter sport meant more and more people learning to ski and Molson's Hill was acclaimed as one of the best places to learn. The old adage was that "if you could ski down Molson's safely, you could ski anywhere else with ease."

Throughout the seventies, the first generation of skiers grew up and married and began having their children. As these children grew old enough (4 - 5 years of age), Mom and Dad started passing their love of skiing on by way of teaching their children the fine arts involved in their favourites sport. Saturday mornings became increasingly crowded as the hill resounded with the voices of happy children and the old rope tow began to moan and groan under the added strain. It soon became apparent that a major renovation was needed at the hill under President Sue Paterson, plans began to be formulated which would forever changed Molson's Hill. Thus began the most intensive season that the Petawawa Ski Club had experienced.

From 1987-1988 over $40,000 in funds was raised by the kids and adults in the club to be matched by a Wintario grant. This money was used to build a new addition to the chalet with a full kitchen for Maggie and Edna, new indoor washrooms for us older folks, a basement and garage for Fred's storage and last but not least, the hill was re-contoured-expanded and a new Pomma lift installed. All of these changes took place in the space of four months, with volunteer labour and lots of Edna's fabulous cooking.

The new club was incorporated as the Petawawa Ski Club Inc. and has not looked back since. The fund raising committee is still alive and well and has continued to make improvements where needed. We now have a groomer to keep the hill in tip top shape throughout the winter and Fred even has heated Hoochie at the bottom of the hill.

The Club continues to thrive with over 300 members made up of people from all over the valley. We teach over 200 people per year to ski from our kinderski, junior, teen and adult lesson programs. We have three racing programs in progress from Nancy Greene to Bailey's to the Junior Juvenille and the future looks bright for the Petawawa Ski Club.

Published in a Petawawa Sk Club fundrasing cookbook, circa 1990.