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OurStory: A Monthly History Series – Ski Jumpers of the Upper Peninsula

June 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Boulder Junction Public Library and Boulder Junction Area Historical Society are partnering to present OurStory: a Monthly History Series. Programs will share “OurStory” – highlighting a local history topic or area of interest that helps us remember the past, understand how it impacts our present, and preserve these memories for the future.

The second program will be held on Thursday, June 27 at 7pm at the Boulder Junction Community Center. The program will be held outside under the pavilion, in case of rain it will be moved indoors.
Ironwood based singer/songwriter, Bill Jamerson, will perform an hour-long musical tribute to the early ski jumpers of the Upper Peninsula. Jamerson tells stories and performs original songs with his guitar about ski jumping during The Great Depression. The program also includes a short clip from his PBS film Winter Wonderland. There are many humorous and heartfelt stories that appeal to people of all ages.

Ski jumping was a popular youth sport in the mining towns of the Upper Peninsula. Long winters, heavy snowfalls and steep hills created excellent training conditions which produced many Olympians. Originally brought to America by the Norwegians, the sport was soon accepted by other nationalities. By the 1880’s, ski jumping competitions were held in many towns across the Upper Peninsula.

In his program, Jamerson tells stories about how the teenage boys borrowed their parent’s cars on Friday after school and drove to ski jumping competitions all through the night. They competed in towns like Eau Claire, Westby and Fond du Lac on Saturday and then returned home on Sunday. The boys competed for prizes such as watches, toasters and guns.

Some of Jamerson’s songs include “The Flying Bletilla’s”, which tells the story of six Finnish ski jumping brothers from Ishpeming. “Boy Lost” is based on a poem written by a teenager. “Brothers Regret” is a song about a younger brother outjumping his older brother. “Nicknames” is a song about the many nicknames the ski jumpers had.

This free program is sponsored by the Boulder Junction Public Library and the Boulder Junction Area Historical Society. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call the library at 715-385-2050.


June 27
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Boulder Junction Community Center
5392 Park Street
Boulder Junction, WI 54512 United States
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