MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has always been known as a skiers paradise . The Beaumier UP Heritage Center is honoring downhill skiing with a new exhibit.

Let’s take a chairlift to yesteryear, as we look back on skiing in the U.P. The Beaumier UP Heritage Center is hosting an exhibit showcasing the ski areas and resorts across the U.P., some active today, and some long gone. The first of two U.P. ski hills with a rope tow to bring skiers up the hill, was Pine Mountain, in Iron Mountain, and Most Ripley, in Houghton. Over the years dozens of ski hills were built in the UP, many are active today and others… are only memories.

“And how the equipment’s changed and clothing and the mountains themselves have changed,” said Dan Truckey, the director of the Beaumier UP Heritage Center. “So it’s really a look back and also the fact that they were still around and they are still a part of our lives today.”

And the beautiful trail maps of the whole resort, along with the promotional material, suggested pretty stiff competition between resorts. Starting a ski hill is expensive and most of the major hills were already in place before a decline in public interest in the 80’s and 90’s.

“This is what I like to call a nostalgia exhibit,” said Truckey. “We’re not dealing with serious, you know, history of events and cause and effects. This is really more about an industry that isn’t really part of the cultural life and the economy.”

With the addition of Mnt. Bohemia in Keweenaw County, skiers can find more challenging terrain and still stay close to home. Collecting all these memorabilia was no easy task. Much of it comes the ski hills themselves.

Whether you spent every weekend on these slopes, or only driven past, the rich heritage of downhill skiing in the UP peninsula lives on.

If you want to know more about the Beaumier UP Heritage Center, you can find their website here.