In 1927, the top of the dune now known as Ski Hill Road in Ogden Dunes was billed at that time as the site of the United State’s highest ski jump.
Side view of ski jump showing metal supports on right and disembarkation “jump point” on left.
The slide was 590 feet long and thirty feet high. International competitions were held at that site until 1932. Three years in 1935 the jump was dismantled and removed. On regaining control of the land leased by the bankrupt Ski Club, Ogden dunes Realty rezoned the land for residential use.
In 1997, the state of Indiana’s historical bureau placed a historical marker commemorating the site.
The steel framed and wood-clad ski jump with adjustable height and length was built for Ogden Dunes Ski Club which was incorporated in 1927 to promote winter sports. Five annual events with international competitors were held from 1928 to 1932. Spectators were reported to number between 7,000 to 20,000 although actual numbers are difficult to confirm. The Great Ski Jump was reputed to be the largest artificial ski jump of its time. After the Great Depression business was difficult and unreliable snows caused the operator to cease after their 1932 event. The mechanism was dismantled and removed and a small number of fancifully themed arts & crafts houses were built upon the dune.
The State of Indiana erected a historical marker at the east end of Kratz Field in 1997.
Peruse the 1996 research paper sent to the Indiana Historical Bureau. Read some old newspaper articles about skiing in Miller and Grand Beach before Ogden Dunes’ ski slide existed.
In 2006, resident Bill Warrick compiled a video that included old 1920’s ski meet newsreal archives with sound.
Additional photos images the ski jump at various stages during its life are shown below. If you have any images of the jump we would love to have a copy!
Photo of ski jump structure without snow. Note walkway on the right side of this view (Photo courtesy of the late Eugene Miller who lived at 26 Ski Hill Road).
Photo of jump from top looking down to area presently called “Kratz Field”. Note that although snow is visible on the ground, there is an absence of snow on the wood structure. This condition plagued the jump throughout its existence (photo courtesy of the late Eugene Miller).
Photo of ski jump area (courtesy of the late Eugene Miller).
This is a rare side-view image showing the ski jump which measured 200 ft. tall.
This more recent image shows the ski hill looking up from what now is known as Kratz Field. This was taken sometime after the ski jump had been removed. It shows the view of the “Frederiksen/Miller” home at 26 Ski Hill Road which was built in 1937.
This image of the Ski Jump, date unknown, was discovered at the Calumet Regional Archives, and is used by permission. Note the large viewing stand on the left side of the jump, presumably added later during its existence. Source: Calumet Regional Archives – Anderson Library, Indiana University Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408