Like many Utahns, Harold Seeholzer loved snow and skiing. But how did his enthusiasm for outdoor recreation turn into one of Cache Valley’s most notable ski resorts?
In the late 1930s, Harold and a few local ski fanatics engineered the first rope-tow lift at Beaver Mountain, near the top of Logan Canyon. Although the canyon was opened to year-round traffic in 1939, Beaver Mountain appealed only to the most determined skiers. There was no road into Beaver Mountain, so skiers parked on the main highway and hiked in about a mile. The motor for the lift was also at the top of the mountain, so every morning someone had to hike up to start it. Because of these difficulties, the ski operation eventually moved to the nearby Sinks area, until it, too, closed down in 1945.
But Harold and his wife Luella were determined to create a winter recreation area for families, so made another pitch for Beaver Mountain in the late 1940s. With help from the Cache County Commission, funding was found to build a road and parking lot to make the area accessible. Rope-tow and T-bar lifts were installed thanks to support from the Mt. Logan Ski Club, the Forest Service, the Cache Chamber of Commerce, as well as personal funding from Harold and Luella. The Beaver Mountain Ski Resort was well underway by 1950.
In 1961, Harold and Luella brought their children into the family business and continued to add lifts, runs, and buildings. However, one goal remained unfulfilled. From the beginning of his skiing career, Harold dreamed of having a chairlift rise from the base of Beaver Mountain to its peak. He died in 1968 before this could be accomplished, but within two years, his family opened just such a chairlift. Appropriately, they named it “Harry's Dream.”
Today, Harold Seeholzer‘s Beaver Mountain Ski Resort is the oldest family-run ski operation in the country.
Image: Lift Line at Beaver Mountain. Photo of skiers lined up to ride the lift at Beaver Mountain Ski Area, Cache National Forest. c. 1940s. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library Ski Archives.
See Stokes Nature Center, “Beaver Mountain Ski Area,” History & Lore of Logan Canyon Podcast Series, 2010; Interview with Ted & Marge Seeholzer; Sweeney, Michael S., Last Unspoiled Place: Utah's Logan Canyon, National Geographic Society, 2008; Beaver Mountain Ski Area website www.skithebeav.com