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Richmond Hill


Name of Ski Area: Richmond Hill (Ski Jump)
Location: Anchorage, south side of Chester Creek (at a point on the north sloping hill that is in-line with I Street), east of Spenard Road.
Type of Area: Ski Jump
Dates of Operation: 1937
Who Built It?: Edvardt Kjosen, Ralph Soberg, George Rengard, John Hyland, John Bagoy
Jump Size:

20 meters (approx.)

Facilities: None
Miscellaneous: Edvardt Kjosen spearheaded the building of this jump.  The jump in-run was built from black spruce logs and planks cut by a local homesteader's Model T engine - powered whipsaw.

This jump was abandoned because the jumpers were soon out-jumping the landing hill.  After a year of using this jump - local jumpers built another jump directly across Chester Creek on the north side (Kjosen Hill).

This jump was likely the first nordic-style ski jump built in Anchorage.

Sources of Information:

John Bagoy, Jim Reekie, Abert Bailey, Karl Eid photo archives at the UAA Consortium Library.

~  PHOTOS  ~

This 1937 photo is from the Karl Eid photo archives at the UAA Consortium library.  The title on the photo is: "Looking North from Richmond Hill at the beginning of Slalom Course 1937".  So - this hill was likely used for downhill skiing too.  The clearing to the north is possibly the site of Kjosen Hill (and where now the Minnesota Bypass now climbs north into Anchorage).

(click on this view to expand it)

[Photo Credit:  Karl F. Eid collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

Eide_Richmond_1937_slalom.jpg (188576 bytes)


This 2002 aerial view of Anchorage shows the estimated location of Kjosen Hill and Richmond Hill jump sites.

(click on this view to expand it)

terra_chester.jpg (174642 bytes)

A zoomed in view shows the estimated location of the Richmond Hill Ski Jump.  The jump was somewhere on the hill that drops steeply down to the old Chester Creek floodplain.  The exact location of the jump is unknown.

(click on this view to expand it)

terra_zoom_southchester.jpg (151397 bytes)

Research Correspondence 
[John Bagoy - 11 December 2004 phone conversation with Tim Kelley]

Jump on the south side of Chester Creek was the first jump built.  It was built in 1937 by Edvardt Kjosen (died in Anchorage, buried in Anchorage cemetary), Ralph Solberg (died in California), George Rengard (died in Norway), John Hyland and John Bagoy.

John Bagoy and his family lived in the late 1930s on 4th and A.  Norwegian Edvardt Kjosen lived in a cabin over the hill.  Edvardt would come by and visit the Bagoys frequently.  Edvardt would tell John's parents, in broken English: "I'm gonna make a Yumper out of Yohn!"

Black spruce from the Chester Creek area was used to build the jump scaffolding.  Planks for the in run were cut from spruce in the area with the help of a fellow that had a whipsaw powered by and old Model T engine.

These jumpers soon "out-jumped" the jump on the south side of Chester Creek.  They were jumping 60-70 feet.  Because they were now landing on the flats out past the bottom of the jump hill, this group decided to build a similar, but slightly bigger jump on the north side of Chester Creek in 1938.

"Who's land were these jumps built on?"  Oh, back then no one much cared about that stuff.  Some homesteader's land I guess.

The jump on the north side of Chester Creek would have been off the end of I street (next to where the covered stairway down to the Chester Creek Greenbelt is).  The jump on the south side of Chester Creek would have been directly to the south, on the north slope of the hill to the east of Spenard Road.



Do you have further information, stories or pictures that you would like to contribute about this ski area?