Harwood Union School
Duxbury, VT

History ~ Memories ~ Current Photos


The Harwood Union School Ski Area has an interesting and varied history. We are still researching the history of this area and will have new/updated info soon. According to Brian Lindner, during the summer of 1967, Stu Campbell came to Harwood as an English teacher. Campbell also became the new ski coach for the union school that had opened in the fall of 1966. (The first year coach had been Bill Heise - Art teacher.

On the steep terrain immediately behind and parallel to the rear parking lot, Campbell had a 15-meter jump constructed. This was to be used in conjunction with a 5km cross-country course that climbed to the south one the same hill.

Although no written documentation or photos seem to exist, in about 1972 the Shop Class constructed a homemade rope tow. The rope tow was installed on the same embankment and at the same location as the 15-meter ski jump. 

From 1972 to around 1980, the history of the area is unknown. Vermont Tramway Reports, is the official state record of rope tows in the state. There is no official record of this area until 1982.

An overhead view of the area, showing the grown in slopes from Terrasever, found by Betsy McDonough.

However, according to these VT Tramway reports, a 500' rope tow opened at the Harwood Union School in Duxbury, during the 1981-1982 season. It is possible the had closed for a few years then re-opened around 1982. It might have been in 1979 or 1980, as those season's reports are missing. The area remained open until the 1984-1985 season. This makes the Harwood Union area one of the latest rope tow only areas to open in New England. 

Then, according to "smurfvt" the tow was dismantled in the early 1990's and installed in Moretown at somebody's house as a private ski area, Mt. Cosmic!

We just heard from Steve Skilton who built the tow - we will post his info once available.


Smurfvt: Thought you'd like some info about the tow at Harwood high school. This slope was originally a ski jump in the early 70's. My older brothers both jumped here in high school. What was particularly intimidating about the jump for people not used to it was the fact that standing at the top, you had a perfect view of the cemetery next to the school, talk about putting the fear of God into someone! The school did away with ski jumping in the late 70's and the hill sat idle for a year or two. I'm not sure when the rope tow was built, but I trained there in the early eighties when there was enough snow. Due to insurance regs, the school stopped operating the rope tow. It was dismantled in the early 90's and a friend of mine bought it and moved it to his house in Moretown. It is still in use today on his small hill, Mount Cosmic. He has lights and even a small snowmaking system from the overflow from his well.

Current Photos

Dave Levasseur took the following photos of the area in late September, 2005. Here's a view of the slope from the bottom, very grown in!

Another view of the overgrown slope.
Near the top.

Looking down the overgrown slope.
The drive for the tow in the woods.

Another view of the drive.
One more closeup, very rusted.

Do you remember this area? If so, let us know.

Last updated: Oct 3, 2005

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