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75 Year Celebration of
Snowsport History
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History of Mammoth Mountain, California
from Mammoth Times, Thursday, August 1, 1999

Mammoth
200,000 years ago Mammoth Mountain was born. A series of volcanic eruptions formed Mammoth, or Pumice Mountain -- the most recent one occurred 50,000 years ago.
8,000 BCE-1800s CE Earliest traces of human life date back thousands of years. Their descendants are the Paiutes, the indigenous people of the Mono Basin and Owens Valley. The Paiute groups summered in the Mammoth area, making obsidian-tipped weapons, and, in the fall, gathering pine nuts that they traded to tribes on the western slope.
mid-1800s The first white settlers arrived in the region, disturbing the Paiutes' way of life.
1857 Lost Cement Mine is discovered. German gold miners, lost in the mountains, find a rich ledge of gold at the headwaters of the Owens River. Go-backs, crossing the Sierra from played-out Motherlode camps, follow the rumor to the new eastside diggings.
1879 Mammoth's boom is on: miners stake claims on Mineral Hill. Mammoth City boasts hotels, saloons, and two newspapers. The heyday is short-lived; the Mammoth Mining Company, for which the area got its name, goes bust.
1890s First ranchers settle in Mammoth; the Summers family figures prominently.
1905 Summer-season recreation takes hold. The Wildasin Hotel opens.
1918 Charlie Summers opens the Mammoth Camp Hotel, near Wildasin's in the meadow. The first summer cabins appear. Mammoth is a tiny village nestled in the meadow below the Mountain, near the intersection of today's Old Mammoth Road and Minaret Road.
1920s Resorts pop up in Mammoth and the Lakes Basin: L.A.'s Camp High Sierra, Tamarack Lodge, Pine Cliff Resort. Fishing, hiking, hunting, and hot tubbing (at Whitmore) are popular pastimes.
1930s Skiing is introduced in the Eastern Sierra. Portable rope tows (powered by automobile motors) are set up at several Mono County locations -- including McGee Mountain, where a young Dave McCoy got his start.
I937 Hwy 203 bypasses Mammoth, and the new Mammoth is born.
1940s In 1942, Dave McCoy moves his rope tows to Mammoth Mountain. The first warming hut is built. Skiers get carted up to the ski area via army surplus weasels.
1950s Mammoth gets electricity -- a connection with the public utility system. Nu 1951, Dave McCoy has five rope tows operation on the North Slope of Mammoth.
1955 The first chairlift at Mammoth opens and an all-weather road to the ski area is constructed.
1960s USFS land trades abound. The first condominiums appear in Mammoth.
1972 Chairs 11, 12, 13 and 14 installed
1973 100,000 square foot base lodge at Chairs 7 and 8 is built with Cafeteria, Lunch room, Sport Shop, Rental & Repair Ships, Ski School, Ticket Sales, Ski Patrol, Restrooms and Lockers. The facility is named Warming Hut 2. Many years later the name was changed to the Canyon Lodge.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area buys Sierra Pacific Airlines and their 44-passenger convairs which made the trip from Burbank in one hour and fifteen minutes.

A daily Lift Ticket is $9 and a season pass is $270. Group Lessons are $9 per person.

1977 The Arcularius family sells its Mammoth Meadow ranch. Windy Flat becomes Snowcreek.
1980 A series of earthquakes in late spring cause a big scare in the wake of Mount St. Helenas, slowing what had been a boom.
1984 The town of Mammoth Lakes is incorporated.
1985 Mammoth Mountain burst upon the mountain biking scene with the Mammoth Kamikaze -- a challenging downhill race off the 11,053 summit.
1992 Mammoth's frequent skiers can save $10 off the regular $37 Lift Ticket with the Mammoth Club Card. The card cost $61.

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