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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Iola in Waupaca County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

School House Ski Hill

 
 
School House Ski Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, September 11, 2018
1. School House Ski Hill Marker
Side 1
Inscription.  Iola’s organized skiing tradition dates back to Tuesday, January 11, 1910, when a group of individuals met in Justice Cleaves’ office to initiate the organization of the Iola Ski Club, which morphed into the Iola Winter Sports Club some 10 years later. The first ski jumping activity recorded in Iola had taken place on Sunday February 28, 1909, however, when Albert Johnson, Elf Elfson, Oscar and Andrew Waistad executed jumps from an improvised scaffold affixed to Jas. Parker’s barn roof, situated “on the hill in the rear of the school buildings,” facing north down the embankment.

The Iola Ski Club’s founding officers: president Oscar Wrolstad, permanent clerk H. C. Cleaves, and treasurer G. L. Gunderson. The January 13, 1910, Iola Herald reported their first mission would be the “building of a slide to be erected on the hill just west of the High school,” with the skier landing area on West State Street in the area of this sign’s placement. The first competition on the hill was held on Sunday, January 30, 1910, with first place in Class A

(Continued on other side)

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School House Ski Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, September 11, 2018
2. School House Ski Hill Marker
Side 2
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going to M. Grenli of Nelsonville with a jump of 40-1/2 feet and a point total of 116, while the Class B winner was Helmer Johnson of Nelsonville with a jump of 39-1/2 feet and a point total of 103.

Over 1,000 spectators were reported to have been in attendance at that first School House Ski Hill tournament, many of whom arrived on a special train excursion from Waupaca. Building on that success, a second tournament was conducted on Sunday February 27, 1910.

The 1911 and 1912 tournaments were moved to a new location, Slaughter House Ski Hill, situated on the Taylor property on the east side of Iola, now a part of the Glacier Wood Golf Course. This scaffolding structure remained standing for many years, being used by local skiers for practice. On February 18, 1913, a new Knutson Ski Hill tournament location was inaugurated on the Clarence Knutson farm outside of Town in the Town of St. Lawrence. The 11915 tournament jumps posted on Knutson Ski Hill, in the range of 140 feet, were longer than those recorded at that year’s national tournament hosted in Duluth.
 
Erected 2017 by Iola Historical Society. (Marker Number 9.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasSports. A significant historical date for this entry is January 11, 1910.
 
Location. 44° 
Close Up of photo on side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, September 11, 2018
3. Close Up of photo on side 1
View looking southeast from West State Street: 1910 School House Ski Hill tournament with school building rooflines in background.
30.444′ N, 89° 8.126′ W. Marker is in Iola, Wisconsin, in Waupaca County. Marker is at the intersection of West State Street and Summit Street, on the right when traveling west on West State Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 390 W State Street, Iola WI 54945, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Iola’s Firefighting Heritage (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The “Spud Alley” Era (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1999 Father's Day Fire (approx. 0.2 miles away); Iola’s Dr. Loope (approx. ¼ mile away); The CWEC Electrified Rural Iola in 1939 (approx. ¼ mile away); Iola Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); R. I. Anderson Machine Shop (approx. ¼ mile away); Iola Mills (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Iola.
 
Close up of photo on side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, September 11, 2018
4. Close up of photo on side 2
Competitive Jumper at 1910 School House Hill Tournament lifts off from end of scaffold.
School House Ski Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, September 11, 2018
5. School House Ski Hill Marker
looking west along State Street
School House Ski Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, September 11, 2018
6. School House Ski Hill Marker
looking east along State Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2018. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2018, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 96 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on September 12, 2018, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 12, 2018, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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