Over 20 years ago, a handful of dedicated Maine skiers and ski history buffs agreed it was essential to “celebrate and preserve the history and heritage of Maine skiing,” and in those words launched the Ski Museum of Maine.

It began as a collection of documents and artifacts stored in a couple buildings in Kingfield and Carrabassett Valley, derived mostly from the files of the Sugarloaf Mountain Corporation and Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club; and ski gear contributed from throughout the state.

A rudimentary archiving system was created and managed by volunteers, and for several years the museum remained essentially homeless.

But a decade ago, rental space was found on the second floor of a downtown Farmington building and a short couple years later, thanks to the generosity of Sugarloaf Mountain and a prominent Kingfield property owner, the museum moved to its expanded and permanent location on Main Street.

In this spacious gallery above the Kingfield Sugarloaf Ski Shop, patrons can see artifacts, photographs, artwork and historical documents. Also, the museum presents a full schedule of educational programs to ski clubs, schools, libraries and historical and civic organizations, and hosts social events and activities year-round.

The importance of Maine skiing has been recognized by the long-established New England Ski Museum in Franconia, New Hampshire, with a year-long exhibit, “Skiing in the Pine Tree State,” at its headquarters at the base of the aerial tramway at Cannon Mountain.

This display, with hundreds of images, will move June 23 to the Bethel Historical Society for a year’s run. Beginning this week, the Maine museum will host Pizza and Old Time Movie Nights from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through March 24 at Frank’s Grille at the Fall Line Condominium at Sunday River.

A full schedule throughout the winter of museum-sponsored events around the state:

 Saturday: Vintage Ski Fashion Show at Bethel Inn Resort.

 Feb. 10: Camden Celebrates Sonny Goodwin Day at the Snow Bowl and Waterfront Restaurant.

 Feb. 13: Maine Ski Heritage Classic at the Sugarloaf Inn.

 April 16: Ski Spree at Barker Mountain Lodge, Sunday River

The fashion show in Bethel will see the retro look reemerge and be celebrated, and attendees will see dozens of decades-old outfits for men and women in styles and colors from the 1940s into the 1970s that haven’t been spotted on Maine slopes in years.

The proceeds will help provide seed money for a permanent museum satellite exhibit in the Bethel area intended to showcase the history of Alpine and Nordic skiing in Oxford County.

Sonny Goodwin Day in Camden will honor the man who was most responsible for the construction and long operation of the town-owned Snow Bowl.

For more information on the Museum’s programs, go to www.skimuseumofmaine.org.

This fall, the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, a museum program established in 2003, held its annual induction ceremony at a festive event at Sunday River.

The Hall of Fame was created to recognize those skiers who through their efforts and achievements brought distinction to Maine skiing.

Some were competitors, others ski area founders and operators. Still others were teachers and coaches who led countless recreational participants and competitors into skiing.

The class of 2015 included:

 Tom Kendall: An Edward Little High and Dartmouth College skier who became a race timing innovator;

 John Diller: Freestyle skiing coach and innovator who rose to become a nationally respected ski area executive;

 Megan Roberts: Competitor, coach and area manager, as well as one of the influential members in the creation and operation of the ski museum;

 Luba Lowery: U.S. Disabled Olympic team standout, national champion, now a coach in the Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program;

 Bruce Chalmers: Former standout collegiate competitor and coach, junior skiing program organizer and promoter, and insurance executive working with the ski industry;

 John Ritzo: Former headmaster at Carrabassett Valley Academy, and academic innovator;

 Peter Davis: U.S. Nordic ski team member and longtime coach;

 Jill Sickels Matlock: Competitor and coach, PSIA national Alpine team member and four-time U.S. extreme skiing champion.

John Christie is a former ski racer and ski area manager and owner, a ski historian and member of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. He and his son, Josh, write ski columns on alternating weeks. John can be reached at:

[email protected]