Bijah Hill
Starks, ME
Early 1960's-Early 1970's

According to a 1971 Ski Maine Promotion and First Tracks, this ski area operated in the 1960's and into the early 1970's with a 1000 foot rope tow.

Cindi Ellen O'Connor has some more information on this lost area: "I saw your web site.  My partner Harry Brown now owns Bijah Hill. Thousands of New Englanders gather on The Hill each year to celebrate Hempstock in August (now in it's 10th year), HarvestFest in October which is a celebration of the marijuana harvest and Freedom Fest in July.  All three events are produced by Maine Vocals to benefit the repeal of marijuana prohibition.

The Ski Tow shack burned in the early 80's.  It was said that it was haunted by the ghost of a young man who hanged himself there one winter."

Cindi found even more info out in a book on the history of Starks:

From The people and places of Starks. Town of Starks Bicentennial 1795-1995. Printed by Jostens, State College, PA. p 60

The Bijah Hill Ski Tow. The ski tow was started in November, 1960 or Ď62 by Pastor Dean Bembower of the Presbyterian Church and the Elders, Arlettie Clark, Albert Locke, Arthur Pease, Paul Willis and Erland Peterson, with Paul providing the location. The first year, a 20 HP Farmall tractor pulled a 600 foot second hand rope run over one of the rear wheels. An old corn barn donated by Leon Farrand and retrofitted was the first warming shed. The following year Arthur Pease moved the tow to a steeper section of the hill, and in following years, assisted by Richard Sterry and later by Everett Pressey, undertook an expansion of the project. For many years Arthur provided a primary source of energy behind the ski tow. 

In the tradition of New England farmers, Arthur exercised his talents as a skilled and imaginative fabricator with his hammer, chain saw, welder and a few sticks of dynamite to, over a continuing series of upgrades, provide a very popular local recreational outlet with an expanded warming hut, packed slopes and woodland trails, food service, night skiing and one of the longest rope tows of its time. He first worked with a large tractor, 27 HP, then went to a 1961 Olds V8, to pull a 2000 foot rope. The inner workings werenít finished in fine style, but one reason for the slopes popularity was the fact the rope didnít twist, an annoying and dangerous affliction common to other rope tows, even commercially built and installed.

Over 100 might be seen on many weekends, coming from all surrounding towns to take advantage of the excellent learning slope. Both day and night skiing were offered. Prices were $1 a day or $12 for the season. Many of the young people and others spent their entire fall after harvest season working on developing trails, enlarging the warming shanty or improving the mechanical drive. The hill on which the tow was developed was formerly the Abijah Joy place it having been in Civil War times the mustering grounds for local recruits. 

Vernon Hilton ran the tow for the last few years of its operation before it closed in the early 1970ís

That's all I have on this one, anybody have anything else to add?

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