Franklin Outing Club

About VMRA

Family friendly, affordable, old school ski area in Franklin, NH. In operation since 1961. Come ski the rope tow and t-bar with us! Enjoy the cozy lodge and goodies from the grill! we have a donation room for free ski and snowboard equipment ..all we ask is you pay it forward. we have a sliding area..a skating pond and trails for cross country and hiking.

FREE SKI WEEKENDS!

WOW! Thank You to ALL the great supportive businesses and organizations for sponsoring FREE SKI DAYS for the coming season. Can't wait to see all your smiling faces on the hill!




History

Franklin Outing Club Veteran's Memorial Recreation Area


1930's -- Dr. Ervin Drake donated 400 acres called "Great Gains Forest" to the city of Franklin.

Jan. 1960 -- Franklin
City Council authorized the Parks and Recreation Commission to invite the US Army Corps of Engineers to construct a ski area for the city on this city owned property in the Flaghole Road area in West Franklin.

Oct. 1960 -- Franklin City Council formally turns over the development of the ski area to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Dec. 1960 -- Many city volunteers and businesses are involved in carrying out the development of the ski area, under a committee headed by Ted Gilchrist and Dr. Robert Morin through the Parks and Recreation Commission. The first Rope Tow was installed and trails are cut.

Jan. 7, 1961-- Franklin Outing Club was formed to assist the Recreation Department in running the ski area. Officers were: President - Ted Gilchrist, Vice-President - Dr. Robert Morin, Secretary - Beatrice Sokul. Treasurer - Robert Mayo. F.O.C. provides first free ski lessons to children. F.O.C. provides trained ski patrol.

Jan. 1962 -- Great Gains Ski Area continues in operation for the second year.

March 1962 -- Official opening of Great Gains Ski Area. First Annual Winter Carnival. Franklin City Council budgets for paving of Flaghole Road.

April 1962 -- Franklin City Council authorizes a $4,000 Veteran's Memorial Fund to be used to construct a lodge at the ski area as a memorial to those who gave their lives in World War II and the Korean War. The area was to be known as the Franklin Veteran's Memorial Recreation Area.

January 1963-- Bombardier Snow Tractor purchased by the ski area for use by the ski area and the city.
F. O.C. Ski Patrol joins National Ski Patrol.

September 1963 -- Larger Tow/Tow house Built.

September 24, 1963 -- Letter of Agreement signed between the City of Franklin and the Franklin Outing Club to allow the Franklin Outing Club to operate the ski area and the facilities.

January 1964 -- Veteran's Memorial Recreation Lodge dedicated. A bronze plaque listing those who gave their lives in the service of their country during World War II and the Korean War was erected over the fireplace of the Lodge.

January 1965 -- Bombardier used at Odell Park.

1966 -- Porch constructed on Lodge.

1967 - Purchased T-Bar from State of NH (Mt. Sunapee) for $5,100. Ken Larrivee served as Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission. Installed with volunteer labor and the O.D. Hopkins, Co. Total cost, $7,780 to club and city. Cost was shared.

1970 -- Snowmobile trails developed.* Garage constructed with approval of city manager.*

1971 -- Addition to lodge constructed ($2,000)*, well drilled ($l,200).* Allowed Public Service access to the slopes to erect their tower and maintain it.

1972 -- PA system and new rope tow purchased.* Skating pond constructed with lights.* New trail constructed.

1973 -- Purchased a powder maker for Snowcat ($2,250).*

March 1975 -- City and F.O.C. purchase Thiokol Grooming machine (Cost $16,000 plus trade in of old Snowcat). Cost shared by city and F.O.C. Garage Revision (Cost $l,700).*

1978 -- New T's purchased for T-Bar ($8,000).*

1979 -- Blade purchased for Thiokol
($5,335).*

1982 -- Alann system installed.* Cross Country trails done.*

1984 -- Established the Martha Gilchrist Memorial Scholarship Fund.* Parking Lot upgraded ($2,000). *

1987 -- City and F.O.C. allowed installation of an amateur radio repeater.

1988 -- Deck for Lodge constructed (S3,000).* Dedicated plaque to Vietnam Veterans.*

1991 -- New Kitchen dedicated to Dr. Robert Morin (S2,500).* New Cable Installed for T-Bar ($8,100).*

1994 -- Rope Tow Engine repaired ($1,80l.25)*
No Cost to the City.

Over the years. countless volunteers of the Franklin Outing Club have worked together to maintain the Recreation Area for all area residents. Included in these numbers are former mayors, city councilors, and members of such organizations such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, K of C. Catholic Daughters, Franklin Jr. Women's Club, VFW, and the Elks Club.

The Franklin Outing Club has continued its long-standing policy of allowing the area to be used by the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Booster Club, local church youth groups, the city's recreation summer programs and the schools.

The F.O.C. continues to operate the ski area allowing affordable skiing for families, free skating, free snowmobile ands cross-country skiing trails. This area is maintained by the volunteer efforts of some 85 area families today. They volunteer to groom the trails, sell food in the concession stand, maintain the lodge, maintain the lifts, serve as ski patrol or ski instructors without any compensation. These volunteers pay the same rates to ski as non-volunteers.

The F.O.C. Continues to annually supplement the cost of the ski area operations by sponsoring the Annual Winter Carnival. Over the years, the F.O.C. has depended on the generosity of the city and it's local businesses, as it remains a true asset to Franklin.