The Sauble Beach Cross Country Ski Club was established in 1982.  The following are some interesting facts about the beginnings of our club.

Prior to 1982, Dean Elliott (bank manager in Hepworth), Vince Artuso and Bert Knechtel walked the trails, mapping, marking and deciding which hills to go over and which to go around.

The Sauble Beach and Area Cross Country Ski Club started with approximately 15 members and has grown from that to a current membership of about 280.

They originally had 25 kilometres of groomed trails, and ran a Loppet that went up behind the White Sands Restaurant and over to the Outdoor Education Centre. It became too hard to maintain the swampy area behind the restaurant, so they downsized to the approximately 18 kilometres of trails that we currently maintain. Our own Mel Kennedy skied in this Loppet (and possibly others whose names I donít have).

Some Charter members no longer with us and to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude include: Paul and Elsie Dawson, Mel Kennedy, Alice Skimson, Olive Shaw, along with many others worked so hard to cut trails.

Meetings were started by Ernie Blackburn at the Sauble Fire Hall around 1982. Ernie used his own snow machine to groom the trails and when his machine was hiccupping and needed replacing, Don Kennedy went door to door soliciting funds to purchase a new one. Several members volunteered their time to groom in the beginning Ė Wes Martin, Bob Fair, Steve Nichol. (If Iíve missed any, I do apologize.)

A group of young people from the government programme Katimavik spent a summer cleaning up the trails for us; with the excessive brush that kept creeping back and the forest wanting to take back over, they were a great help.

In October 1982, Wes and Ruth Martin moved their camper onto the site that is now our Chalet, and started charging for skiing the trails.

The next year they built the Chalet, which we still use. Donation for shingles came from Don Robinson; Marie Milson donated the interior paneling; and many more people donated of their time and materials. In later years the kitchen portion and front deck were added to the Chalet.

Article by Jo-Ann Sheridan, with thanks to Ruth Martin for supplying the information.


Some Photos from the Early Years

The Original Trailer Chalet

Building the new Chalet

Loppet Participants in the 1980s

Winterfest Cookout 1980s

Winterfest Cookout 1990s

The enlarged Chalet

Ribbon Cutting at enlarged Chalet 1991

Trillium Grant Presentation for new Groomer 2004
  On the Trail in the 1980s and 1990s  


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