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Art on the old slopes (2012)
Brookline Ski Area
Brookline, New Hampshire
Status: Lost/Defunct
First Season:1935-36
Last Season:1983-84
Vertical Drop:600 feet
Standing Lifts:
Past Lifts:Surface lifts
Left: Art on the old slopes (2012)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
Located just over the border in New Hampshire on Potanipo Hill, Brookline was one of the first lift served ski areas in New England. It would later be known as Big Bear and Musket Mountain.

Early Years

Brookline Ski Area first opened in the winter of 1935-36 with a 950 foot long by 300 foot vertical gas powered rope tow serving multiple slopes. Wes Blake and Don Reynolds added a second tow for the following season.

By the start of World War II, the ski area had grown to two rope tows (1,200 feet and 500 feet long), multiple slopes, and five trails.

Arthur DeRosa took over the ski area in 1959 and dramatically expanded it three years later, adding a T-Bar and 8 new trails. As a result of the expansion, the ski area, under the direction of Arthur DeRosa, Sr. and Arthur DeRosa, Jr., saw business increase by 40%. While a second T-Bar was planned for the following season, it never came to fruition.

Big Bear and Musket Mountain

According to NELSAP, Brookline Ski Area became Big Bear in 1973.

Bad luck started to hit later in the decade. The area's snowmaking system burned in late 1976, resulting in a delayed opening. The business found itself in arrears in property taxes for much of the balance of the decade.

James Swisher purchased Big Bear along with Dave and Bonnie Gucwa in 1982 and renamed it Musket Mountain. New snowmaking equipment was purchased, along with a new rope tow and ski rentals. A cross country ski operation was also added.

Closure

Art on the old slopes (2012)
Art on the old slopes (2012)

Hard times continued at the ski area, resulting in its closure after the 1983-84 season. It would eventually be sold to Eddie Whitcomb in 1985, never to reopen.

In 1996, Paul Andres purchased the property and began developing the Andres Institute of Art. The facility now features dozens of outdoor art exhibits throughout the old ski area.

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed

Past Lifts
Seasons
T-Bar

T-Bar
1962-63
-

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1970-71$4.501970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$4.501969-70 Ticket Price Graph1969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph
1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1968-69$4.501968-69 Ticket Price Graph1968-69 Season Pass Price Graph1968-69 Skier Visit Graph
1961-621961-62 Ticket Price Graph1961-62 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 27March 101961-62 Skier Visit Graph

Maps
1962-63 Brookline Ski Area Trail Map1963-64 Brookline Ski Area Trail Map1964-65 Brookline Ski Area Trail Map
View All Brookline Ski Area Trail Maps

Visitor Memories
"I learned to ski here..,my mother and father took us here on weekends. I remember the t bar lift for the front slope. It use to lift me up and turn me around! Ha. I was five or six years old! We would ski here or Boston hill on the weekends. Thanks for the memories Nils"
Nils Reed, Jan. 11, 2017
"My Uncle, was Richard Varricchio, and I have fond memories of visiting the ski area with my family. I recall my uncle putting his heart and soul into planning many renovations.....I'm so glad to have found this article, because I have lost contact with my Varricchio relatives, and it brings back such pleasant memories."
Karen , Jul. 29, 2013
"Over the years, the old lodge had completely deteriorated to the point that it became an eye-sore. It was leased and renovated in 2000-2001, and reopened as "
Val Stewart, Jul. 27, 2013
"I was so suprised to find this article has a void of ownership and activities from 1973 through 1982. My parents Richard and Bridget Varricchio owned the business in that period and it was very successful in the early years only to succumb to insurmountable challenges. Some notable accomplishments in their tenure were the building of the first Skateboard Park in the North East,having X-treme freestyle skiing events showcasing the Mad Dog Ski Team before X games were even a thought,allowing Ski Bikes access to the mountain when no other areas would recognize them as well as numerous local charitable events.Hopefully research will give them the recognition that they deserve. Thanks! "
Varricchio Friends & Family, Apr. 4, 2013
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External Links
  • Brookline/Big Bear/Musket Mtn. Ski Area - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Andres Institute of Art - located on the site of the former ski area
  • Potanipo Hill - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
  • Last updated: November 26, 2016

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