Celebrating Sunday River’s 60th Anniversary

The Ski Museum of Maine’s Oxford County Committee is presenting a guest exhibit at the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society to celebrate the founding of Sunday River Ski Resort the winter of 1959/60. The exhibit opens Friday, November 29, at 10:00 am in the Valentine Gallery at MBHS Robinson House, 10 Broad St., Bethel. The display will be open free to the public thereafter Tuesday through Saturday from 1-4 pm through December 21 and throughout the winter season by appointment (207-824-2908).

The 60th Anniversary exhibit features photos from Sunday River’s first season, trail maps, large panels outlining the ski area’s development, artifacts, and memorabilia. The exhibit has been made possible through the support of the family of Sunday River developer, former owner, and manager Les Otten, plus the families of Sunday River’s founders: Avery and Mary Angevine, Howard and Ginny Cole, Paul and Jean Kailey, Addison and Emily Saunders, Mike and Connie Thurston, and Jack and Margaret Trinward.

FMI: Executive Director, Ski Museum of Maine – director@skimuseumofmaine.org – 207-265-2023 or Associate Director, MBHS – director@bethelhistorical.org – 207-824-2908

Sunday River Skiway in the 1960s

4th of July Community Concert & Picnic

Celebrate the anniversary of American Independence in the center of Bethel’s National Historic District by bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying a concert by the Portland Brass Quintet on the grounds of the 1813 Dr. Moses Mason House (14 Broad Street, Bethel).

Please note that this year’s event will begin slightly earlier than usual, at 11:15 am. Free, but donations welcome.

Dr. Moses Mason House Period Rooms

July 2 through August 29, 2020; Thursday through Saturday, 1:00 to 4:00 PM; other times by appointmentDr. Moses Mason House (1813), parlor showing Chester Harding portrait of Dr. Mason

One of the finest Federal style residences in its region, the Dr. Moses Mason House was constructed in 1813 on a spacious lot facing onto the common at Bethel Hill village. According to Dr. Nathaniel Tuckerman True, Bethel’s eminent nineteenth century historian, this house was the first on the common to be painted white, the first on a high foundation of granite slabs, and the first to make use of exterior shutters. The house and grounds were renovated and restored in 1972-73 by the Bingham Trust, which presented the property to the Bethel Historical Society in memory of William Bingham 2nd, the town’s great twentieth century philanthropist.

Nine rooms in the Mason House now appear much as they did during the occupancy of Dr. Moses Mason (1789-1866) and his wife, Agnes M. Straw (1793-1869). These rooms contain a wide variety of eighteenth and nineteenth century examples of the decorative arts, many of which are original to the house. Other furnishings from the Society’s permanent collection are also on display throughout the various rooms. The most captivating feature of the Mason House is located in the front hallway, which contains Rufus Porter School wall murals—on the upper and lower floors—painted during the mid-1830s and attributed to Jonathan D. Poor, a nephew of Rufus Porter. Depicting distant seascapes and colorful landscapes with lush foliage, these intriguing examples of American folk art have been painstakingly cleaned so that modern-day visitors can view them much as they looked during the Masons’ era.

Oxford County Skiing History: From Jockey Cap to Jordan Bowl

On view during the 2020 season in the “Western Mountains Gallery,” this colorful exhibit provided by the Ski Museum of Maine traces the roots of alpine and Nordic skiing and ski manufacturing at sites located within or near the borders of Oxford County. Through images, artifacts, and vintage film, the display presents the fascinating story of skiing history in the highlands of western Maine.