Finnish-American Society transfers handmade, vintage skis to Ski Museum
Two vintage handmade skis that illustrate a chapter of Maine’s rich skiing heritage have found a new home.
Measuring more than nine feet long, the pair of skis was crafted of wood in the late 1930s by Eino Koljonen, who was born in 1904 in Finland and is buried in the Finnish Cemetery in West Paris.
They were donated to the Finnish-American Heritage Society of Maine by Koljonen’s daughter, Madeline Roberts.
They resided in the society’s museum in West Paris for many years.
The society recently transferred them to the Ski Museum of Maine on long-term loan.
The Ski Museum, located in Kingfield, will display them among its collection of historic ski gear.
The presentation was made by Dale Piirainen, president of the Society, and members of his group. Accepting for the Ski Museum were executive director Bruce Miles and curator/research director Scott Andrews.
“We at Finn-Am are really pleased that these skis have found a good home,” said Piirainen, who added that “title isn’t being transferred, but the Ski Museum can keep them as long as it wants to display them.”
Andrews said that the Finn-Am skis represent a link between skiing’s ancient origins in northern Europe and the sport’s modern age in Maine and America. He also noted the exceptional workmanship.
Miles added that the Finn-Am skis would be prominently displayed in Kingfield.
“We are fortunate to have artifacts such as these handmade wooden beauties to show in our collection,” he said.