Fairchild Park
Naugatuck, CT

Early 1970's

Thanks to D. Rogers, we first heard of this ski tow that once operated in Naugautuck.

"There was a tow in Fairchild Park. It had a single rope tow, and a small lodge. It was in existence for probably 3-5 years. The years of operation were sometime around 1970, when I was in 6th grade. My recollection is that it was probably 600-800 yards, but that could be way off."

Jon March provides a more detailed history of this area. Pictures are from Jon Regan, aka Woodcore, and were taken in January of 2005. 

I am Jon March, I grew up in Naugatuck - home to Naugahyde "leather", Mounds and Almond Joy, Keds sneakers, and Frank Zappas keyboardist Tommy Mars - my next door neighbor!

Fairchild Park was a neighborhood park, ball field, and courts ....but had the unique benefit of being backed up to the foot of Hunters Mountain. I plan on doing some more thorough research, but I will tell what I remember. A local Youth Activities Committee, along with the town Park Department (headed by former Yankee Frank "Spec" Shea), oversaw the installation of an engine powered rope tow up the sledding hill. Also constructed at the park was a small "lodge" dubbed the "Alpine Hut", due to its quaint Scandinavian styling. As I recall, it was staffed occasionally with lemonade and chips service, and maybe hot dogs. This is 1972-1973 we're talking. 


Looking up the slope.

A closeup of the mostly overgrown slope.

The rope tow was always finicky, but worked reasonably well. The area was swell for 3 years or so, but being unwatched , was regularly plauged by idle vandalism. The rope would was cut and had to be spliced several times, and the snack hut pillaged until the town gave up on trying to combat the overnight mischief makers - who really ruined it for everyone. It became a liability to the town (broken glass, etc), and sadly the Alpine Hut had to be offered free to anyone who would take the building off the site. The town was very disappointed that the effort they made for the kids was so conscientiously used as target practice by local losers. It would have been the perfect place to put a surveillance camera nowadays! Maybe its not too late - the hill is still there, and so is the park. The hill is not maintained as before, but a hike up the mountain reveals poles and old pulleys to this day.
Maybe someone could bring it back, and keep a better eye on the property. I sure would like to see some old video, photos, etc of its heyday! Cable bindings, lace boots and all..Maybe even some early Marker Rotomats!

Looking down the slope into town.

Does anybody else have any more information?

Last updated: Sep 21, 2005

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