Recently the librarian in Whitehall pointed me in the direction of a website to access old Winona, Minnesota, newspapers. Did they ever carry great ski jumping news from western Wisconsin! Among the gems I uncovered, I located this picture of the Whitehall ski hill in 1938.
Obviously the quality is minimal, but if you look carefully, you can locate the very top of the slide and the take-off platform (the dark block below). Sid, I suppose, would have jumped from this slide, and probably several of his brothers.
The news article from January 29, 1938, indicated the slide was located “on the Herberg farm one and one-half miles north of Whitehall on county road “D.” It was reconditioned recently for the tournament and a 37 degree slant provided. Improvements on the take-off platform also were made and the slide is believed to be in condition to assist the competitors in producing some record leaps” (Winona Republican-Herald).
Another fun discovery in the same newspaper was a ski jump competition Sid had told me about. He and Odell participated in a junior tournament sponsored by the Whitehall Record Breakers Ski club in February 1935. Sid not only won first place in Class A (10-13 year olds) but also won the prize for “most graceful form.” In the Senior Class of 13-15 year olds, Odell won third place and the prize for “the longest standing jump with 28 feet.” At the end of the article, Bennie Borreson and Maynard Sinrud were said to have represented Whitehall at a U.S. Central ski tournament at Red Wing the same Sunday. Three Borreson skiers in one news item – and Red Wing was the big time!
The same newspaper featured three Borreson brothers earlier too – January 21, 1935. This item reported a ski tournament at Tamarack. another Trempealeau County hot spot for ski jumping. That January Sunday Red Borreson (Ednar) took second place in Class B with jumps of 101 and 106 feet for 224 points. Odell took third in Class C with jumps of “56 and 54 feet, but he fell on one jump and scored 121 points. “Ben Borreson of the Pigeon Falls club had the long standing jump with 109 feet.”
The articles are numerous that the Borreson brothers were at the heart of this Norwegian-American sport in its hey-day. What fun it is to find the articles and read the stories!