When Loon Mountain first opened to the public on December 27, 1966, the up-and-coming resort had just two lifts, 12 trails, and one toilet. “We began because we had to, not because we were ready,” said Gov. Sherman Adams, the resort’s founder. “Five hundred people showed up with their skis without being invited.”
Described as a “flinty old curmudgeon” in a 1975 issue of Skiing Magazine, Sherman Adams was a classic old Yankee – pennywise, no-nonsense, and with a wit as dry and tart as hard apple cider. In his later years, Adams could be found skiing the mountain he built, wearing old-fashioned woolen knickers and smoking a pipe; if it started to rain, he would simply flip the pipe upside down and keep making turns.
Clearly, Adams was a man impatient to get things done. This is the story of how he almost single-handedly carved Loon Mountain Resort from the forest – and led the region’s economy out of the woods – just a little over 50 years ago.