ADAMS -- On Feb. 9, 1936, the New York Central Railroad operated a ski train from New York City to the town for the sole purpose of bringing people to ski the Thunderbolt Trail on Mount Greylock.
For $3, a person could travel round trip, which was about four and a half hours each way. An additional 25 cents got a person from the Adams train depot to the mountain and back.
A poster advertising this deal is one of the many artifacts, documents and photographs now on display in the Thunderbolt Ski Museum, which had its grand opening Sunday at the Adams Visitors Center.
The grand opening was part of the first-ever Ramblefest, held as a celebration prior to the 45th annual Mount Greylock Ramble, which begins today at 8 a.m.
"This museum will hopefully preserve the stories as they come out of the woodwork," said Blair Mahar, founding organizer of the museum, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony that began shortly after noon.
The Thunderbolt Trail is a "time capsule," and preserving its history is important, as well as the stories connected with it, he said.
"There are six or seven, maybe eight ski museums in the country. Adams having a major ski museum is something else for this community," he said.
The approximately eight decades since the Thunderbolt Trail was cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 is chronicled with wooden skis, metal bindings, gear and paraphernalia from the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain
Mahar said the short-term vision for the museum, which is the creation of the Thunderbolt Ski Runners, is for aspects of the exhibit to be updated every six or 10 months.
"Our bigger vision is to have a Massachusetts ski museum here," he said.
The museum will be open on weekdays during the hours the Council on Aging, which is also in the Adams Visitors Center, is opened, he said. Volunteers will keep the museum open on weekends, he said.
In his opening remarks at the ceremony, Town Admin istrator Jonathan Butler said Mahar and a couple of Thunderbolt Ski Runners had pitched the idea of the museum to him a few years back. While the idea made sense, to think big enough that a little town like Adams could make such a big claim seemed like something that many people might consider a reach, he said.
"Then I thought back a couple of years to when I had just started in my job here in Adams. When a small group of local backwoods enthusiasts banded together, created an organization and came up with the idea of having a ski race on the Thunderbolt Ski Trail to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first race ever held on the mountain," he said.
The group that had pulled off the race not only in 2010, but also in 2011, was the one that was proposing the museum, he said.
"So we started thinking that maybe this museum idea wasn't so farfetched."
Four local veterans of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, which was established during World War II, cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the museum. The men, Steve Nowicki, Art Bourdon, Donald Linscott and George Verow, participated in some of the early races on the Thunderbolt Trail.
David Bissaillon, a member of Pro Adams and co-organizer of Ramblefest, said they're thrilled how the event turned out, and estimated 1,000 to 1,500 attended it.
"Everyone is happy. It has exceeded out expectations, and the weather cooperated," he said.
Co-organizer Dan Hogan agreed.
"We took what was successful from Thunderfest in the spring and were happy with what it resulted in today," he said.
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What: 45th annual Mount Greylock Ramble
When: All day today, starting at 8 a.m.
Where: Base of Mount Greylock on West Mountain Road in Adams, Cheshire Harbor Trail
Transportation: Parking is extremely limited at the base of the trail. No parking on West Mountain Road or Gould Road. A free shuttle bus will provide round-trip transport from the Adams Free Library at McKinley Square. The last departing bus leaves at 1 p.m. The last returning ride to downtown leaves at 4 p.m.