HANCOCK-Back in 2004, what is believed to be the oldest existing public ski lodge in the United States was dedicated to Richard "Dick" Hubbard. Hubbard was one of the founding fathers of skiing in the Middlebury area. He was involved at every level at the college as a skier and the college's first ski coach; he was the Middlebury Ski Club's earliest members and leaders, and in the founding of the Snow Bowl.
The cabin was built in 1938 by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps and local ski enthusiasts, including Dick Hubbard, and was used as the base lodge until 1962, when the base lodge was completed. Then the cabin became a caretaker's residence for approximately three decades and had been unoccupied since the mid 1990s.
With the college's permission, it became the home of the non-profit Middlebury Ski Club which is dedicated to promoting alpine skiing and supporting the development of ski racers of all ages and abilities.
Beginning in 2002 and 2003, club members performed renovations to the interior to remove the living accommodations and return the cabin to its original one-room design, and then began to use it in connection with club activities.
In spite of its historic status, the exterior of the cabin had not been stained or painted in many years. This both concerned and represented an opportunity for Rick and Peter Hubbard, Dick Hubbard's two sons. At the time, they approached the club with a proposal. If the club would rally its members to "spruce up" the exterior of the cabin, Rick and Peter would provide the stain, paint and brushes plus volunteer their labor to work with club members.
So, the work was undertaken a few years ago.
In addition to Rick and Peter Hubbard, practically the entire club participated at that time. Chris Dayton and his children, Charlie and Grace, Emily Amory and her children Holden and Steddy and Michael Findlay, Dan Hutner, Peter Miller and son Eli, Brad and Kathleen Ramsey and their children John and Turner, Molly Morrison and her daughter Darryl, and Robert Sokolowski and his friend Jenn Scarborough all pitched in back in 2007.
All in all the group volunteered well over 100 hours applying 16 gallons of Mallard brown stain to the exterior logs and deck, two gallons of white paint to trim the eves, windows, doors, butt ends of logs and front of the deck and part of a gallon of "Middlebury College blue" to the front and rear doors. The group also filled two truckloads with old wood and other debris from both around and inside the cabin. Peter Mackey and the Bowl staff took care of disposal.
The club is fortunate to ski and train at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, home to one of the nation's top alpine ski teams. The bowl's dedication to racing makes it a perfect home for the club. Members are often able to train in the gates before other clubs are even on snow.