BRATTLEBORO — The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum is hosting a red bench virtual discussion on Harris Hill Ski Jump on Oct. 21 to celebrate 100 years of ski jumping at Harris Hill.
In February of 2022, Harris Hill Ski Jump in Brattleboro will celebrate 100 years of hosting national events, international tournaments, and US Olympic trials. Its history is a rich one and some of the biggest names in ski jumping have competed there.
Moderator Peter Graves, a long-time Olympic broadcaster and coach, will welcome a trio of guests that are sure to be informative and entertaining. Joining Graves will be noted Harris Hill historian and former jumper, Dana Sprague, who will speak about the Hill’s remarkable history.
Chief of Competition and former elite jumper, Todd Einig of Brattleboro will also have a seat on the bench. Einig was a former member of the Eastern Junior National Team and first jumped off Harris Hill when he was 14. He’s currently the Director of the Junior Jumping program in Brattleboro and the Harris Hill Nordic Club.
Also joining the discussion will be former Harris Hill jumper, Spencer Knickerbocker. Knickerbocker learned to cross country ski and ski jump in the shadow of the Harris Hill jumps. He had the honor of being the first jumper off the Hill after its rebuilding. Knickerbocker attended Lake Placid’s Northwood School and later moved to Steamboat Springs to train full-time as a member of the US Nordic Combined ski team where he competed internationally. He is currently the executive director of the Marlboro Nordic Ski Club.
In front of a crowd of approximately 2,500 people in 1922, John Carleton set a New England record by making a leap of 150 feet on the new jump that had just been completed off Cedar Street. Fred H. Harris had jumps of 90, 100 and 107 feet during that inaugural competition.
Since then, the first female jumper competed in 1946, Brattleboro’s Merrill “Mezzy” Barber retired from jumping in 1950 after winning the event twice, Eleanor Jones was the first carnival queen in 1957, ticket prices were raised to $5 in 1985, a new jump was constructed from 2006-2008, Slovenia’s Blaz Pavlic retired the Winged Ski Trophy in 2020, and the event was cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns.
In order to register for the Oct. 21 discussion, simply go to: https://www.vtssm.org/new-events/2021/10/21harrishill.
Virtual doors to the museum will open and the discussion will begin at 7 p.m. The event is complimentary, but a $10 donation from each guest is encouraged, greatly appreciated, and helps keep this series going.
Series sponsors include r.k. Miles, AJ’s Ski & Sports, Sisler Builders, and Vermont Ski + Ride.