All About Us Through the Years
Iroquois Falls Cross Country Ski Club has a rich and touching history rooted in the passion for ski. See our Welcome Page. The main man behind it all is Allan Cashmore, its president. Of course, many volunteers in this About Us page have a big part in developing and keeping the ski club running successfully. No other person has had as much impact and shown as much dedication to keeping the club alive than its president Allan Cashmore.
Fall of 1973
At about the same time as the Porcupine Ski Club started up their club, Allan with his deep love of Cross Country skiing and no grooming equipment started breaking trail in the McCarth Township woods around Horseshoe Lake to get to Rice Lake restaurant. Soon after, he realized that grooming the trails with homemade drags at the back of his skidoo would make for better and more accessible trails for more people.
Since more and more people started to take up this heart healthy outdoor winter sport, it was determined that a permanent ski club would be useful in bringing all the Northern XC Ski fans together.
As a result, Allan found a property in McCarth Township that would be ideal to develop cross country ski trails. Although part of it was private property and part of it was MNR property destined for clear cutting, Allan convinced the Ministry of Natural Resources to reserve the lot for Cross Country Skiing and succeeded!
All they had to groom the trails back then was an Olympic 12.2 Skidoo, a homemade drag and a ski track setter that was donated by Charlebois Hardware.
Then, the Abitibi Pulp & Paper Mill donated a hut to be used as the clubhouse for the Ski Club of Iroquois Falls.
Finally, things were starting to really take shape for the XC Ski Club! More and more volunteers started to help Allan in developing the trails.
Soon after, everything fell apart again! The property was sold and the clubhouse was destroyed. As a result, you would think that Allan would have given up on his dream of having a successful ski club after this.
However, the opposite happened. Allan knew that many people of Iroquois Falls and surrounding areas had really started to enjoy the wintry sport of XC Ski. And so his resolve doubled and he approached many community leaders and organizations to secure land that could be the club’s permanently.
More trails were developed for added enjoyment and adventure. The Township of Iroquois Falls donated the money to buy a grooming snow machine. And so, along with Allan’s snow machine, they had 2 grooming machines and more volunteers to help him break and maintain the XC Ski trails.
Citizens of Iroquois Falls now had a wonderful ski trail system to beat the winter blues and get fit during the longest season of the year. All that was missing now was a clubhouse for skiers to warm up in, get together in and to house the equipment.
Iroquois Falls High School students built the present day frame of the ski chalet with the help of a local ski member’s loan. The inside of the chalet was built by volunteers Allan Cashmore, Don Hopkins and Eric Lunan.
The loan was paid back. The chalet housed the grooming equipment, a kitchen and snack bar, a wood stove to warm up by. Most importantly, a space for ski enthusiasts to gather in and share in the love of skiing was created.
The club bought 2 Alpina snow machines thanks to a community grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Scandi Skidoos were also accompanied by renovators as drags to dig the trails and set the tracks for skiing. Today, the grooming volunteer team includes Allan Cashmore, Vic Lapierre, Dave McEwen, Gary Cashmore.
The club bought brand new ski equipment thanks to a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism & Sport.
Most noteworthy, the spirit of XC Ski is alive and well in Iroquois Falls thanks to the hard work of the Board of Directors and club volunteers. Everyone works hard to develop an appreciation for cross country skiing.
Mark Long, a teacher at IFSS & his Summit students – an Environmental and Adventure Leadership class, planned and facilitated Introduction to Skiing programs for high school and elementary school classes. It’s efforts like these that help to pass on the love of skiing. With this kind of dedication to the sport, it’s no wonder that our Ski Club is thriving and growing after 40 years!
Margaret Frey began coordinating a new Jackrabbit program with the help of veterans including Mark Long, Dave Misener, and Marc and Francine DeLaplante. This effort has brought new life to the club and continues to motivate us to make this sport fun for everyone. Other instructors include Jeff Frey, and Dana and Aaron McBride.
Club members began to make a fun park for the children, adding a slalom course and moguls. The kids will literally use it for hours at a time, even when the temperatures drop significantly.
The Executive welcomed members of the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Local MPP John Vanthof as well as Ron Leduc from OTF congratulated the Club’s members on the work that was done with a $13,000 Capital.
Everyone heard about the difference the new garage will make to the Club’s operations.
The club received $16 079 from Ontario Ministry of Tourism &
Sport for the Youth Programs.
As a result, this will enable the club to purchase equipment to enhance the youth programs and make the lessons more interesting & challenging.