November 25, 1962
February 1, 2011
WESTMORELAND SKI CLUB HISTORY
In 1956, A small group of ski enthusiasts met and decided to form a ski club. The Westmoreland Ski Club was officially formed in 1956, becoming only the third ski club in western Pennsylvania in 1957.
|The club’s original meeting place was the former rabbit coop at a local farm. Fortunately, the Dupre family (who later opened Seven Springs in the 1930s) was very supportive of the ski club and sympathized with the group concerning the long travel time to and from the ski area. They agreed to rent the stable part of a former cattle barn (a Quonset hut) to use for overnight stays. Thus, the first WCS lodge was established. Two to three weeks before the group was prepared to move in, a thousand ducklings appeared in the building. Once the ducks were gone, the mess was cleaned, and the club stayed there (the Duck Barn) for two seasons. The WSC members had to leave because the Ski Patrol took over the building.|
|For the 1959-61 ski seasons, the club rented other cabins in the surrounding area. During these years, club membership grew and funds became available (about $300) for purchasing property. In 1961, The club purchased a one acre lot, located at just 3.6 miles from Seven Springs on State Route 1058. (County Line Road, Champion PA).|
|Next came a commitment to build a ski club lodge on the property. Four to five members, formed the building committee although none were professional builders. By June 1962, groundbreaking had begun with clearing the land. Trees were cut by members using two-man crosscut saws while brush was burned. Work was done with much enthusiasm as footer holes were dug to below the frost line and concrete was mixed, all by hand.|
|Members’ vehicles were used to haul the large quantity of lumber and other building materials that went into the structure. That lumber included the 2×6 tongue-and-groove flooring. At times, some of the building lumber was temporary scaffolding to allow workers, “climbing like monkeys,” to apply shingles to the steep roof. During this time, the hardy group cooked meals on an open fire and sometimes slept in their cars … some even in the car trunk!|
|A Grand Opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on November 25, 1962. After 2,150 hours of work over the course of seven months, the WSC lodge was completed in December 1962. Westmoreland Ski Club became the first ski club in the eastern United States to completely design, finance, and build an A-frame lodge. Many members have continued to contribute to lodge improvements during the intervening 50 years.|
Today, The Westmoreland Ski Club lodge is located at 2094 County Line Road, Champion PA 15622. Look for the gray building with the skiing bird logo!