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Museums: In the Cradle of North American Skiing



Editor Seth Masia
Managing Editor Greg Ditrinco
Consulting Editor Cindy Hirschfeld
Art Director Edna Baker

Editorial Board
Seth Masia, Chairman
John Allen, Andy Bigford, John Caldwell, Jeremy Davis, Kirby Gilbert, Paul Hooge, Jeff Leich, Ron LeMaster, Bob Soden, Ingrid Wicken

Founding Editors 
Morten Lund, Glenn Parkinson

To preserve skiing history and to increase awareness of the sport’s heritage

ISHA Founder 
Mason Beekley, 1927–2001

ISHA Board of Directors

Rick Moulton, Chairman
Seth Masia, President
Wini Jones, Vice President
Jeff Blumenfeld, Vice President
John McMurtry, Vice President
Bob Soden (Canada), Treasurer
Einar Sunde, Secretary

Richard Allen, Skip Beitzel, Michael Calderone, Dick Cutler, Ken Hugessen (Canada), David Ingemie, Joe Jay Jalbert, Henri Rivers, Charles Sanders, Christof Thöny (Austria), Ivan Wagner (Switzerland)

Presidential Circle
Christin Cooper, Billy Kidd, Jean-Claude Killy, Bode Miller, Doug Pfeiffer, Penny Pitou, Nancy Greene Raine

Executive Director
Janet White

Membership Services 
Laurie Glover
(802) 375-1105

Corporate Sponsorships 
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Bimonthly journal and official publication of the International Skiing History Association (ISHA)

Partners: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame | Canadian Ski Museum and Hall of Fame

Alf Engen Ski Museum | North American Snowsports Journalists Association | Swiss Academic Ski Club


Skiing History (USPS No. 16-201, ISSN: 23293659) is published bimonthly by the International Skiing History Association, P.O. Box 1064, Manchester Center, VT 05255.
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ISHA is a 501(c)(3) public charity. EIN: 06-1347398

Written permission from the editor is required to reproduce, in any manner, the contents of Skiing History, either in full or in part.

Museums: In the Cradle of North American Skiing

By Bob Soden

The Laurentian Ski Museum finds a new home. 

If you are fortunate enough to be traveling through the mountainous region north of Montreal, make a point of visiting the beautiful Laurentian Ski Museum, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2022.

Photo above: Organized in thematic zones, the permanent exhibits constitute a stroll through history. LSM photo.

The museum’s story began in the 1960s when historian Bernard Brazeau indulged his passion for collecting ski artifacts. In 1980, with two colleagues, he created a “research group on skiing in the Laurentians.” Bernard teamed with Jacques Beauchamp-Forget, professor, historian and fellow member of the Société d’histoire et de généalogie des Laurentides, and Fernand Trottier, skier, coach and owner of a local ski shop. The Musée du ski des Laurentides (LSM) became a reality two years later.

A few of Jackrabbit's belongings, from
the Johanssen collection. LSM photo.

In 1992, Alice Johannsen merged her Musée Jackrabbit with LSM. Founded in 1987, the collection honors the life and work of her father, Herman Smith-Johannsen (1875–1987).

Since its inception, LSM has held an annual soirée at the Laurentian Ski Hall of Fame, which is part of the museum. The list of inductees, some 178 over the past 39 years, includes such luminaries as Émile Cochand, Sr., creator of North America’s first ski resort, Chalet Cochand (1915); Lucile Wheeler-Vaughan, the first North American to win an Olympic medal in the downhill (Cortina d’Ampezzo, 1956) and the honorary hostess of the Hall of Fame for many years; and Linda Crutchfield, a five-time Olympic competitor in skiing and luge, a ski instructor and a Level IV examiner. More recently, in 2016, LSM honored ISHA’s own John Fry and Doug Pfeiffer.

The museum is proud of its extensive holdings, which include more than 7,500 artifacts and 20 private archive collections. Prominent among these collections are Jackrabbit’s memorabilia and mementoes of the ski-racing careers of Rhona and Rhoda Wurtele; LSM also maintains the website of the Repertoire-des-centres-de-ski-du-Quebec (Directory of Quebec Ski Sites), by Pierre Dumas, which documents and geo-locates more than 600 ski centers, extant and abandoned. The site received the ISHA Cyber Award in 2017.

In 2022 the museum will move from its
long-term home (above) to . . .

. . . the National Bank Building, which
will provide more space for expanded
exhibits. LSM photos.

Since 2016, Nancy Belhumeur has served as the museum’s curator, and Pierre Urquhart as the director general since 1998.

The long-term home of the museum has been on avenue Filion (in the center of St. Sauveur, just off rue Principale) in a renovated fire station. These premises have served admirably for many years, protecting and displaying, in the museum’s first-class fashion, the permanent and revolving collections. But in early 2021 the museum announced that it will move to the more prestigious, and historic, National Bank building nearby and hopes to be installed there, at the corner of rue Principale and rue de la Gare, in 2022.

The museum welcomes visitors from Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Regular contributor Bob Soden serves as ISHA’s treasurer and heads the board’s museum committee.



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