Skip to main content


Going Downhill for 50 Years

Polly Case took the first ride up the Dartmouth Skiway in 1956. (Photo Dartmouth College Library)

On Dec. 15, 1956, Polly Case straddled a small disk attached to a cable—a "poma lift"—and rode to the top of Holt's Ledge in Lyme Center, N.H., becoming the first patron of the College's then-brand-new ski area. Case was awarded the honor of the first ride up the mountain for suggesting the name of the ski area: the Dartmouth Skiway. An estimated 750,000 patrons later, the Dartmouth Skiway celebrates its 50th anniversary this winter. The past half-century has seen a number of significant changes since the old poma lift on Holt's Ledge, including the addition of snowmaking—now covering 64 percent of the Skiway's 104 skiable acres—in 1985; the installation of the Winslow Mountain quad chair across the road from Holt's Ledge; a significant upgrade to the Holt's Ledge chairlift; and the opening, in 2000, of the McLane Family Lodge. The Skiway is planning a series of events throughout the winter season to commemorate the anniversary, beginning with a special celebration on Dec. 29.

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 5/30/08