About NeVar

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In the future this website's mascot and spokes-raven, NeVar, will tell stories about the Mt. Tom Range, particularly the Mt. Tom Area.

Ravens have been followers of our kind longer than recorded history and are a rich part of our folklore. To Indigenous Americans ravens are revered noble spirits: intelligent, adaptable, sociable.

And so the common raven was chosen to tell the story of the Mt. Tom Range and why the ridge that makes up the spine of Holyoke, Massachusetts, should be preserved largely as undeveloped open space.

Former Mt. Tom Ski Area

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In 1959-1960, Daniel O’Connell of O’Connell and Sons Construction Co. became interested in building a facility to keep local kids busy in the winter.  Advisors to the  included Roland Palmedo, Walter F. Stugger, and Stan Brown.

On December 17, 1960, the ski area opened with snow-making. A 1,400 foot T-Bar served the Big Tom slope, while a 400 foot rope tow operated on the Little Tom slope. Beyond those slopes, the Big Tom trail was advertised as being open via snow-cat service, giving skiers some additional 300 vertical feet above the 285 feet provided by the T-Bar. Ed Wakelin was listed as manager of the ski area while Robert Savard ran the ski school for the inaugural season.  Picture courtesy of a friend of the Mt. Tom Range.