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Sierra Ski Museum

The Mammoth Ski Museum in Mammoth, Calif., gives a nod to ski history with a 10,000-item trove of ski paraphernalia including posters, stamps, books, sculptures, and pins.

 ski poster, Mammoth Ski Museum
Photo caption
Bold posters pointed Americans to ski resorts of the mid 20th century.

Whatever you do, don't visit the Mammoth Ski Museum in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., to see its skiers' gear—unless what flaps your earmuffs is a handful of boots and a scattering of old skis. But by all means glide in to view its superb historical depictions of skiing and skiers—a 10,000-item trove of posters, books, photos, pins, stamps, and sculptures, plus the first printed image of skiing, in a Swedish book from 1555.

"It really is an incredible collection," says curator Finn MacDonald. Assembled by Mason Beekley of New Hartford, Conn., it holds some 600 posters from the first half of the 20th century, most portraying stylish men and women beaming as if they've found Shangri-La. Before Beekley died in 2001, he assigned his huge collection to the Mammoth Lakes Foundation.

Also on view are new exhibits on skiing's history as an Olympic sport and on Mammoth's rise as a resort. Information: (760) 934-6592.

Photography courtesy Mammoth Ski Museum/Beekley Collection

This article was first published in November 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.