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Club History

The idea for this club was first conceived in 1933 by a group of ski enthusiasts who resided in Wakefield, Massachusetts. In those days, skiing was confined primarily to day trips. Later the name became the Wakefield Depot Ski Group, The Wakefield Outing Club, and then became part of the Wakefield YMCA sports program. In 1946, the group was formally incorporated as the Wakefield Ski-Bees. The member Mt Cranmore Ski School base was broadened slightly in the following years admitting members from nearby Stoneham. In fact, the Stoneham Ski-Daddlers, that have a lodge on Route 302 in Bartlett was founded as an off-shoot of the Ski-Bees. Some time in the 1950ís the Wakefield Ski-Bees, Inc. became known simply as the Ski-Bees, Inc. to reflect a more geographically diversified membership. The club now has active members residing in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire.
In the late 1950ís, the Ski-Bees rented the house (which is still standing) directly across from Memorial Hospital as a residence for the ski season. The Ski-Bees purchased the current facility on Kearsarge Road for approximately $8000.00 in 1960. The initial financing for the purchase came directly from the members. Twenty Ski-Bees each chipped in $100.00 to raise the $2000.00 down payment.  The sum was repaid and the club, as a non-profit organization now owns the building.
The lodge, along with those of our neighbors from the Ski-Wheelers and the Makusues, was once part of a resort known as Russellís Inn. Our lodge was known as the Eastman House and was used for guests at the inn. The Makusue building provided accommodations for the workers. Across the street from the Ski-Bees lodge was a golf course. At the turn of the century, Russellís Inn was one of New Englandís most pleasant vacation spots. A popular winter sport at the Inn was ski joring, riding on skis behind a horse. A picture of Russellís Inn of unknown vintage is on the East wall of the Beehive (front room).
We doubt that vacationers who frequented Russellís Inn would recognize the structure today. The original building only extended to where the kitchen is located and had an adjoining carriage house and barn. (this barn was later torn down).  The beehive was two rooms; and the honeycomb, the dining room.  The first major work project of the Ski-Bees was to knock down a wall in the Beehive and create one large room. On the second floor, a bedroom was sacrificed in order to make the large bathroom, and the girlís bunkrooms were added. The present dining room was built in the old carriage house. The third floor structurally remains as it always was. For a brief period of time the third floor was headquarters for the Penguin Ski Club, whose lodge is now located on Route 302 in Bartlett.
The biggest renovation undertaken was the moving of a barn on the premises so it could be attached to the dining room in order to create the current party room.  The bulk of the improvements over the years have been done by the membership: wiring, plumbing, paneling, painting, etc. Thus, the club has evolved to one which suits the needs of the present membership.

In 1971, the clubís name was changed to reflect the geographical diversity of its members, dropping the Wakefield prefix. Over the years our club has been the recipient of many national, regional, and community awards. In 1996, the club celebrated its 50th anniversary, concluded with a banquet attended by more than 250 past and present members at the Red Jacket Inn. Today, the Ski-Bees remain one of the most respected ski clubs in the Mount Washington Valley