vermont historical society link HISTORY PROJECT LINK INFORMATION LINK

Jay/Westfield PROJECT
Westfield Town History
Farming in the Past
Life as a farmer
Maple Sugaring
The Jay Population
Jay Peak's History
The Old Bobbin Mill
History of Schools
An Organic Farm
Henry Bedell, A
Civil War Hero
The Civil War

Jay Peak's History

Jay Peak before the top was blown off
Jay Peak photo

Skiing, snowboarding, and blading, you can find it all here. Jay Peak is a very magnificent mountain located in Jay, Vermont. This mountain is an excellent source of glades, open slopes, and vertical trails. It has many forests and open spaces. With a ridge at the top and challenging slopes, Jay Peak is a very popular mountain. There are 140 people presently employed at Jay Peak!

To start out, why don't we state why Jay Peak was started? Well, it was Jay Peak's natural specifics that started it; the beautiful trees, the sun, and the snow. After the town sent Him home to think about it, Harold Haynes talked to Lee Emerson, the governor, about starting the Mountain. They opened October 12, 1956 and were lucky because they got 1 ft. of snow that day. The first trail and lift were on the 152,000 acres they had. All the rest was Weyerhaeuser Company's land. "The most difficult part of starting Jay Peak was how difficult it was to raise money," says Harold Haynes. "All that was possible was to go as far as we could."

Jay Peak, Inc., board numbers as they met to arrange the union with Weyerhaeuser Co. Jay Peak, Inc., board numbers as they met to arrange the union with Weyerhaeuser Co.
Paek Inc. photo

When they started Jay Peak in 1956 you could only drive as far as the Ingle Nook Lodge. You would walk the rest of the way. Later on in 1972, the Tram was installed. That day the Weyerhaeuser Company blew off the top to install it

Whew. Now time to talk about more of Jay Peak. 25 years after Harold Haynes came in 1935, he started the mountain. Harold Haynes was president for 10 years. That's only a little compared to the 49 years it's been running. During his 10 years of being president he sold 2,500 shares. These were sold for $10 a piece. Harold Haynes said the best thing that happened to them was selling it to Weyerhaeuser. Jay Peak was sold for $500,000. Now that's a lot. President Bill Stenger has been president for 20 years.

Money, money, money, every year Jay Peak earns a good $8-9 million! This comes from the many people who come to ski. Out of the $8-9 million they spend about $7.5 million on other things. While developing Jay Peak they spent about $50,000. Back then that was expensive.

Jay Peak Ski Team – Walter Foeger, skiing instructor, is shown above with members of the team that is being trained to represent Jay Peak at various ski meets in the future.
ski team photo

Anybody want to take some skiing or snowboarding lessons? Here's the history of Jay Peak's ski lessons.

Walter Foeger, manager of Jay Peak, started skiing lessons on parallel. Most people Foeger taught went away happy, but a few got their money back because they couldn't ski Parallel. The way Walter Foeger pushed people made him a good instructor. "Skiing with Foeger was very interesting and fun," says Michael Murphy. As you can see lessons were a big part of Jay Peak's history.

Next I'll tell you about the delightful history of slopes and lifts. The first lift on Jay Peak was a poma lift. It consisted of tubing and a dish. This was a one-person lift. When you first got on and the person controlling it pulled the lever there was a very fast zip and then it went steadily on. The trail designer, Charlie Lord, helped Harold Haynes mark out all the trails for skiing. They kept the trails pointing toward the north because that's where all the snow was at the time. The first trail was called Open Slope. The second was named the Sweetheart. Harold Haynes says that the mountain is going slower than he wanted, but it is better than going fast because it would cause troubles if it went faster. Today there are 76 trails and 20% are novice, 40% are intermediate, and 40% are advanced. There are 8 lifts.

frink photo isham photo isham photo
Shown above are 3 different pictures of the pomalift. It was installed in 1956. From the top of it you could get to the Open Slope.

Next I'll talk about the new golf course. The reason behind the golf course is for employees and tourists. It is for employees because this way they can do summer work. The golf course has been in process for 10 years. In the summer of 2005, thousands of people will come to golf the first 14 holes. The next four holes will be opened in the summer of 2006. The full golf course is about 140 acres! That's big.

Along with the golf course a new mountain addition is in process. It's coming in the winter of 2006. They're building this because of the sun and views that pass over this part of the mountain. There will be 18 more trails and 3 more lifts. More tourists will come to ski on the new trails.

In the beginning Jay Peak was small and through time it grew. Now it's an attractive mountain for skiing, golfing, and having fun. I hope I got you interested in our excellent mountain situated in the small town of Jay, Vermont.