Thursday, January 25, 2024

Schenectady to North Creek Snow Train events through March

Schenectady snow train logo

The 90th Anniversary of the first snow train to run between Schenectady and North Creek is being celebrated locally and in the Adirondacks through March 2024. Events in Rotterdam, Glenville and North Creek will highlight the legacy of this snow train and the people who initiated this long-running program that brought winter adventurers from Schenectady, NY to North Creek and Gore Mountain.

Known as the North Creek Snow Train, it first brought 378 skiers from Schenectady to North Creek on March 4, 1934. Skiing in the Adirondacks dates back to the early 1900s, but gained popularity through the 1920s and 1930s, leading to the 1932 Winter Olympics. Reliable transportation to ski the Adirondack mountain sides was unavailable, which prompted Vincent Schaefer, a founding member of the Schenectady Wintersports Club, to lobby railroad companies to establish a train schedule to the North Creek depot. The train was operated by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Company. Round trip fare was $1.50 (approximately $35 today) and by 1936, snow trains were operating out of Albany and New York City.

Multiple events and local partnerships are offered to honor the snow train anniversary.

Schedule of Events:

  • January 27, 2024, 6:30 p.m. at Tannery Pond Center: “How Skiing Came to North Creek: Schenectady’s Role,” talk by Jim Schaefer, son of Vincent Schaefer. Talk preceded by Snow Train specialty beer from Wolf Hollow Brewing Company
  • January 30, 2024, 6 p.m. at Wolf Hollow Brewing Company: Old ski movie night from the 1930s 1940s and 1950s, presented by Bill Schaefer
  • February 6, 2024, 6 p.m. at Wolf Hollow Brewing Company: “How the Snow Train Got Started to North Creek” talk by Jim Schaefer
  • February 10, 2024, 7 p.m. at Tannery Pond Center: Old ski movie night from the 1930s 1940s and 1950s, presented by the North Creek Depot Museum
  • February 13, 2024, 6 p.m. at Wolf Hollow Brewing Company: Movie night: Adirondack hickories and “Freddie at 95,” hosted by Jim and Bill Schaefer
  •  February 17, 2024, 7 p.m. at Tannery Pond Center: “Women of Winter: Frederica ‘Freddie’ Anderson, Pioneer Ski Instructor and Lois Perret Schaefer, RN, The First Aid Committee Ski Patrol, 1933,” talk by Jim Schaefer
  •  February 22, 2024, 7 p.m. at Tannery Pond Center: Johnsburg Historical Society presentation on the WWII 10th Mountain Ski Division
  • March 2-4, 2024, Gore Mountain: Celebrating the First Snow Train
  • March 2, 2024, time TBD, at North Creek Depot Museum: Ski Bowl snow shoe presentation
  •  March 3, 2024, 1 p.m. at Tannery Pond Center: Johnsburg community story recording session and launch of audio walking tour of North Creek
  • Through March 2024: Historic exhibit of the Snow Train and skiing history of Rotterdam and Schenectady County at Rotterdam Town Hall

Besides the history of the Snow Train, events will also focus on the important contributions of women in popularizing skiing in the Capital Region and Adirondacks.

For more information, visit: https://www.swcweb.org/

About Schenectady Wintersports Club: Schenectady Wintersports Club was founded in 1932 to promote outdoor winter activities in the New York State Capital District. Partnering with Northern New York Paddlers and Mohawk Valley Hiking Club, Schenectady Wintersports Club evolved to foster and encourage year-round outdoor activities. Members enjoy the exclusive year-round benefit of staying at a private clubhouse in Waterbury Center, Vermont, as well as members-only ski trips around the globe, events like the annual Thanksgiving breakfast at Christmas Preserve (started 94 years ago), regattas, clinics and more. Information on the club and its membership is available at www.swcweb.org.

Photo at top provided by swcweb.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.




2 Responses

  1. Big Burly says:

    Fun story. Does a snow train continue to operate?

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