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The Arts

Harris Hill Ski Jump marks 100th anniversary with release of book

BRATTLEBORO—Harris Hill Ski Jump, home of New England’s only Olympic-sized, 90-meter ski jump, is kicking off its 100-year anniversary with the publication and release of its history, Harris Hill Ski Jump: The First 100 Years.

The 120-page softcover book is narrated in a storytelling cadence by Brattleboro-based journalist Kevin O’Connor.

This book chronicles the colorful history of Harris Hill Ski Jump, a celebrated winter sporting event that has attracted athletes and spectators from near and far for 100 years. The 100th anniversary celebration will be held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19 and 20, 2022.

The history is told in a photo-rich story format with the intention of engaging its readers. It is packed full of history, quotes, exclusive photos, and a timeline from what might be the most unique ski jump of its type in the United States.

At the end of what used to be a cornfield, nestled in the woods, Harris Hill Ski Jump is an iconic jump to anyone in the sport. It is the only Olympic-sized jump in New England and one of the newest 90-meter jumps in the U.S.

Its setting lets spectators experience the Olympic sport of ski jumping “up close in all its breathtaking, heart-stopping glory.”

The book’s many segments include a colorful background on the ski jump’s founder, Fred Harris; the history of the jump’s Winged Ski Trophy; and how Harris Hill helped pave the way for women in ski jumping.

In the book, O’Connor illustrates the passion and character of Harris Hill’s founder Fred Harris: “Harris lived for adventure. He often canoed the Connecticut River to commute between home (Brattleboro) and college (Dartmouth College), won the U.S. mixed-doubles tennis championship in 1912 and piloted his 87-year-old grandmother in a plane for her birthday in 1920.”

The book is available to purchase online for $28.95 at HarrisHillSkiJump.com and in select regional shops.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #640 (Wednesday, November 24, 2021). This story appeared on page C2.

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