These photos from The Gazette’s archives are from 1976 and 1977, when the Oak Ridge Ski Club operated a ski hill on Serns Road in Milton.
Local skiers organized informally as early as 1957 and built a small ski hill at Janesville’s Riverside Park.
At that time, the tow rope—which was used to pull skiers up the hill—was powered by an old truck engine that “periodically caught fire,” according to a Gazette article.
The Oak Ridge Ski Club was founded in November 1962. By that time, skiers were using Scott Hill on Highway 14 north of Janesville. A chalet was built, and about 75 people could be seated around the large circular fireplace.
“This has been perfected to the point where it no longer fills the building with smoke,” skier Joe Johnson said in an February 1969 article in The Gazette.
The club had snow-grooming equipment and eventually invested in a snowmaker.
In fall 1976, the club learned that it would no longer be able to use Scott Hill. By December, it had moved to 15 acres of hilly property on Serns Road between County N and John Paul Road in the town of Milton.
The club had two tow ropes and 10 ski runs, and it later added cross country ski trails.
In 1980, the cost of a family membership was $65 and a single membership was $35.
The ski club operated until the early 1990s.